We asked the women of Lucinity to share their thoughts and perspectives, for International Women’s Day 2022, on gender equality and inclusiveness.
Edda Björk Konráðsdóttir
Edda Björk, the first female hire at ISNIC (the company responsible for handling the .is top-level domain for websites), also cites open and encouraging parents as an influence for pursuing a career in technology. “I always loved math and problem-solving. I know I wanted to study engineering but didn‘t really know what kind. My dad told me to try out Software Engineering, that was the future. So I did, not having the slightest idea what I was getting into, but I certainly don‘t regret that decision.”
Edda talks about the wrong perception of women technologists: “I don‘t know why but almost every time I tell someone I‘m a developer, they ask ‘oh cool, and your boyfriend/husband? Is he a developer too?’ I don‘t know why they always assume that. He couldn‘t be further away from being a developer. If I were a man, they would never ask me if my wife was a programmer too. I don‘t know if this happens to men as well who are in female-dominant fields.”
Treating women as nothing but an extension of their male partners, and assuming an influence in their career choices, is extremely widespread and toxic. To Break the Bias, men need to stop thinking in ways of “allowance” for women to join technological fields and assume that their choices must be tied to a male within their family. As a rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t ask a man a question, chances are you shouldn't ask a woman the same question either.
But Edda is also hopeful for the future of women. “When I joined Lucinity, I was surprised how many female developers were working there (and even more were hired after me). I was usually the only female or one of two,” she recalls. “So I feel like the ratio is improving (still room for a lot more), and more and more females see that they can do this too. I have talked to a woman who really wanted to be a programmer but ended up in HR because she thought she couldn‘t do it, and I‘m pretty sure if she were a man, she wouldn‘t have the same doubts.”
Indeed, inclusivity and equality have come a long way. Especially in the past 10 or 20 years, technology has done so much to democratize communication and opportunities for all genders. But there are still ways to go to Break the Bias.