It was my high school years when I fell in love with the music of the sixties. Never been a history fan but I was interested in the context of those people’s lives. It’s astonishing to imagine how much people went through over just one decade: television, first journey to space, hippies, Vietnam and feminism.
I thought: “What did those women have to protest about when there were grander things than their rights?”
That is how I found out that single women had no right to open a bank account, even married ones had to ask for their husband permission. I found out that women had no right to vote. Yale, Princeton and Harvard didn’t accept female students. All social expectations from females were for them to clean their houses and take care of the family.
In that, hostile to women, environment Stepanie Shirley crossed the society boundaries and founded a software company which hired only women who worked from home. She signed all her business mail with the short “Steve” as no one, clearly, wanted to cooperate with Stephanie. In the distant 1975 there was an equal sex rights law issued in Britain and that female-only company had to hire men as well. Yep! Her company was 3 billion dollars’ worth. And she was told: “Great done, Steve!”
While I was coming across that kind of stories I began to realize what struggle those women went through fighting for our future. Thank you, Stephanie, and thanks all women of the 60s. Thank you Beatles too!
MEN IN IT WORLD
When I chose Internet technology as my major I met only a couple of female students. Not sure if it was because those few females were extraordinary people or because my other colleagues were great guys, but I didn’t feel uncomfortable in the mostly-masculine surroundings nor did I feel any lack of girls around. Never did I feel as a minority. All of us were amazed by the discoveries of the IT world and our joint forces won all lectures.
When I was in the middle and high school it never puzzled me if physics was a subject for boys or girls. I don’t even remember if there were more boys or girls who went to the physics competitions. That’s how it is, I think, with the profession you chose (or it choses you) – you simply like what you do and there’s no beating around the bush. There is just as well no place for cultural stereotypes or for a story of environmental feeling of belonging.
I needed a lot of time to decide what I want to be in life and which job wouldn’t be boring for me in a couple of years. That was a very modest condition in comparison to all opportunities I had in front of me as a Front End Developer.
My first steps were made by working from home as a freelancer. I learned how to solve issues independently, efficiently organize my time, manage priorities and it became very clear to me that self-discipline and self-motivation were not in any way naive concepts.
You become more mature when you join a team. Then I understood that weaker team members get lost under pressure quicker and close doors for others, but the stronger are those ones who are dedicated, solve all issues professionally and offer support to others.
THOSE WHO WILL COME BEHIND US
Internet will project the future which we will all share, like it or not. Everything that women of the 60s were fighting for is now available to us. That is how we can play and equally important role in creation of the better future for the new generations to come.
I have never seen a title “Women in High Schools”, not talking about military ones, and I hope one day there will be no need in specific essays like ones about women in the IT world.
My journey started more than 8 years ago; it is still going and becomes more fascinating with time.
You can call me Steve, Stephanie or Slađana, I don’t mind, as long as my career gives me an opportunity to explore my potential, develop my skills and grow within it.