Written by Ying-Chu Chen, Rio, Peifen Hsieh, Jessie Tang, Evonne Tsai, Hsin-I Chiu, Crystal Tu.
Image credit: TWIGF 台灣網路治理論壇, license CC BY-NC 2.0
If we can speak up for women today, we can further support other minority groups in the future.
Last year in TWIGF2017, we launched TechGIRLs, where we exchanged our life, career, and schooling experience. We all agreed that women in Taiwan enjoy more rights and are more blessed than women in many other countries.
But after I attended the Women in ICT session in APNIC 44 and APRICOT 2018, I found there are some differences in Taiwan and other countries, and these problems exist in the whole world. After reviewing ISACA Survey Identifies Five Biggest Barriers Faced by Women in Tech, I agree these are barriers for women, not in Taiwan, all over the world:
- Lack of mentors
- Lack of female role models in the field
- Gender bias in the workplace
- Unequal growth opportunities compared to men
- Unequal pay for the same skills
During the preparation for the TWIGF 2018, I proposed that we discuss these issues in an independent session. We discussed four main questions:
- How to encourage women in Taiwan to work in ICT related industries or have their own business?
- How to encourage women talk in a public area, especially talk their professional in the technical groups or communities?
- How to improve position for women in Taiwan?
- Should we need to have a platform for women or to ensure they have a position in each industry?
Diversity is important, it can benefit and makes the different eyesight
Rio Kao has done research about international cases and shared with us. She said:
“The efforts made and the voices we empowered to all kinds of minorities, will finally become our owns. For each single one of us is born different, and belongs to some group of minority. That includes men, they will become minority in certain circumstances.”
Different gender and groups usually have different ways in thinking and contributing creativity and innovation to the larger society. Women know the ways, behaviors, those are different from men, that also help the business, services more humanized, flourish the whole related industries and society.
Yes, women and men are different, but there are more complicated issues behind these problems.
When we talked about how to encourage women to work in ICT related industries and even to start their own business. We also talked about what make this issue happened?
There are more complicated issues, such as psychology, education, history, religion, media affects, social expectation, social suggestion, etc., those are effect to the whole environment, and make the five problems mentioned at the beginning circulating. We all agreed if the public media, advertisement or vacancy announcement can show the enterprises are welcome women to work with them whenever to be a programmer or a manager, or work in business development. If the company can show they wish to have more women employee would be help.
Jessie is from a blockchain technology company, she told us they welcome more women to work with them. They use in many ways as in job vacancy messages or make a gender friendly working environment.
Women always been asked our family life in the job interview, we always been asked these questions:
- Are you in a relationship?
- Are you going to be married?
- How do you make work and family(personal) life balance?
- If you come to work in our company, who will take care of your child(children)?
Those questions are hardly been asked in a job interview with a male applicant. We think that because there is more social expectation for women. As a wife or a mother, women always to have more responsibility in take care of family. But this is not the responsibility for a wife or a mother. It should be a responsibility for whole families. And, why should we need to talk our personal or family life in our job interview? The employer should evaluate their own professional not their gender or appearance or family or personal life.
Ying-Chu Chen, Peifen Hsieh, Jessie Tang, Evonne Tsai, Hsin-I Chiu, Crystal Tu are the panellists participating TWIGF 2018 TechGIRLS. Rio Kao is the moderator. The article is translated by Crystal Tu.