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The importance of the tech girl gang

5 reasons why female friends in tech will make both your personal and professional spaces a great place to be.

It’s no secret that tech is a man’s world and as women working in this industry, we are somewhat of an anomaly. We go into these positions expecting to find ourselves surrounded by men, outnumbered by dudes, and overrun by bros – so how important is a girl gang when we know what we’re getting ourselves into?

Being outnumbered can be tough. Especially if you’re in a minority of one like so many women in tech are. Whilst we like to pretend that it doesn’t matter and that we can be one of the guys with no problems, sometimes it can take a toll. Having friends who are in the same boat is such a godsend when times get tough. They’re around for support, to lend an ear, to uncork the wine – you name it. In case you need any more convincing, here are five reasons why finding like-minded ladies will make navigating the tech world more manageable.

Tech ladies get it. They just do.

Your fellow Women in Tech are in the same boat as you. We understand. We’ve all experienced toxic masculinity, we’ve had imposter syndrome make the Sunday Scaries so much worse, and we’ve had men shamelessly and aggressively hit on us at networking events. In some situations, there are professional ways of dealing with this (e.g. HR) but on a more personal level, your tech girls are here to lend an ear. Sometimes you might just need to bitch about that Silicon-Valley-type asshole who thought ‘you’re cute for an engineer’ was a compliment, or the office visitor who mistook you for a PA, or your boss needing to confound your answer with that of a dude. WE. GET. IT. And we will always be around to listen.

We know that when it’s good, it’s really good

On a brighter note, we all know how great it feels to succeed. For all of you who have worked in different careers before – doesn’t a tech triumph feel a little more special than in your previous job? And even if you’ve always worked in the same sector, there is still something deeply satisfying about kicking ass in a job role you had to fight for. That, coupled with the knowledge that you’re paving the way for other women and girls to achieve their dreams, leaves us feeling (quite rightly) pretty smug. And you can always count on your girl gang to champion your victories – no matter how small.

We walk the same path

Whether you’re a newbie on the tech scene or a seasoned pro – it doesn’t matter where you’re at in your career, we’ve all trodden the same path. Getting your first job is difficult. Navigating tech teams is difficult. Asking for help when you need it (even at the risk of sounding stupid) is difficult. We’ve done it, we continue to do it, and we will do it again. We have divulged from the norm and with it are smashing down stereotypes. We will always have to deal with people who say ‘I never expected you to end up in tech’, but actually mean ‘no way are you smart enough for that’, and we will smile our way through these situations, safe in the knowledge that we are total boss ladies. And we are, in fact, smart enough for that.

Grow your supportive network

Women in tech champion women in tech. In my experience, we’re always happy to have other girls in our corner. I’ve never heard of an instance where another female joining a team has had a negative impact on the women already there. In fact, the more we as females explore the tech community, the more we find the space to be open, welcoming, and supportive of newcomers and new ideas. Whole giant Slack channels and Facebook groups exist solely for us, social events and hackathons are thrown in our honour. To be involved and in-tune with our peers and fellow boss ladies is too good an opportunity to miss.

Friends are good for the soul

This one is less for the female identifiers specifically and more for humans in general: pals in any capacity are a blessing. Friends you text every day, friends you never text, friends you run into on the street and promise to call but never do, drinking buddies, old friends, new friends, don’t-speak-for-10-years-but-it’s-still-the-same friends. We need each other even though sometimes we drive each other insane, and you can never have too many people on your team. It’s just an added bonus if you can talk shop with them.

Whether you’re new to the tech community, or even if you’ve been here a long time, these circles of women are a great place to make your space your own. Tech is male dominated – it will be for years to come, but by supporting each other and cultivating personal relationships within our own tech bubbles, we will help carve out our place in this minefield and hold it strong for generations to come.

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