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International Women's Day

Why more women should work in software testing

Posted by: Eva
Category: Business, Test leadership & expertise

On the 8th of March we celebrate women all over the world on International Women’s day, sometimes with presents like flowers, rosé cava and goodie boxes (whether they like it or not, a girl can only give so many hints). By the way, on the 19th of November it’s the men’s turn! We’ll try to devote some attention to that joyful day too and maybe buy presents like beer, whiskey and socks (because we’re also out of inspiration). Anyway, there’s probably a good reason why we tend to pay more attention to the Women’s day, cause apparently, it’s still needed.

So today, I’ll talk about us ladies, who are still – sadly enough – underrepresented in the technology industry. I’ll be frank, with this blog I hope to seduce them to work in the technology sector, and more specifically lure them towards a career in Software Testing using some typical clichés about women. Note: I tried my very best not to judge the clichés themselves, even though I totally disagree with most of them of course.

Here we go, women are…

1. Looking for stability:

There’s always employment to be found in ICT. Of course, this isn’t a good reason to choose for a career in this sector, but hey, money makes the world go around… Projections show that in 2020 we should expect no fewer than one million IT-vacancies in Europe. With the current – mainly male – potential employees, we will never be able to fill all these vacancies.

2. Bossing men around:

We’re in luck ladies! There are more men in IT than women, so chances are you’ll be able to boss some of them around. 😉 Even more so when you choose for a career in Software Testing, which brings me to the next cliché…

3. Critical and nit-pickers:

Perfect! Software Testing gives us women a free pass for being critical and nit-pickers. Cause in this profession, we need you to be (obviously without exaggerating). Everything must be just right, and we love the hunt for things out of balance and setting them straight, don’t we? So, if you recognize yourself in this description, don’t hesitate! Together with our feminine charm and flair for diplomacy while delivering the “bad” news, this brings us to the next cliché…

4. Put on this earth to care for children:

Let’s face it, sometimes we’re managing or finding ourselves amidst a kindergarten during IT projects. And yes, my experience is that women are better at bringing together the IT-playground bullies and getting negative emotions back in line. We can take the drama and let them think they found the compromise or solution all on their own… attaboy!

5. Planning our family’s whole lives and future:

Women sometimes have a certain skill for planning and structuring their lives – the 5-year plan! We just know what we want, where we want to go or what we want to achieve and will try to arrange our lives and careers to reach that goal. All this while considering well calculated risks. Even the messiest and most chaotic amongst us, are able to set their priorities straight and go for it! As it happens, planning, a certain degree of structure and setting priorities based on risks, whilst avoiding or mitigating those risks, are some of the core qualities of a good Software Tester.

6. Good at interior decoration:

Oh, the colourful post-it wall… we can go total loss on that, yay! Certainly in this day and age where scrum drawing or sketching is hot and trendy. Try to keep it lean and clean though.

7. In love with expensive cars/things:

With a job in Software Testing (consultancy) often comes a very nice car. Let’s face it, we also like it, don’t we ladies? Although maybe the interior comfort, like enough space or heated seating, might be more important then the cylinders or the sports suspension. Not to worry, often you will have both!

8. Shopaholics:

As a Software Tester you might be assigned to test a webshop, and sometimes you’ll receive a reduction on your own orders. Perks of the job! But, even if you don’t, you can still shop till you drop, without spending actual money – yay! Make sure not to test with your own credit card, though – you never know if the test environment is accidently linked to the real live (production) online payment solution, ouch!

9. Unable to work with other women:

I love working with all my fellow female colleagues at Brightest (love you!), but I often hear women in IT saying they really like the mix of men and women. Less drama, gossiping and backstabbing – more work getting done. But I think the same goes for all-male work habitats, all wanting to be the best and win, not caring (enough) about the team making their work even better. Probably a little exaggeration here, but you get my point…

10. Unable to do hard labour:

Software Testing is not hard physical labour, luckily. The most physical labour I’ve ever done during my Software Testing career is going up and down stairs to the basement of a big bank to reset or install servers and carrying my laptop around all day going to meetings. If we’re talking about hard mental labour, then yes, of course we’re capable! Just as our male colleagues, we help solve problems and prevent crises every day, work in stressful environments with tough deadlines. All to avoid potential time, money and reputation loss. We help development teams produce the best quality solutions possible to bring the biggest value achievable for their customers.

11. Unable to work with or understand computers/technology:

I don’t even want to spend time arguing about this one… we all know better, don’t we? Maybe only this: don’t be afraid of technology ladies, if you are, once you see how easy it is, you’ll be rolling your eyes when men are mansplaining it to you again.

Ofcourse there are dozens of other reasons why you should aspire a career in Software Testing, but they are not based on clichés about women as the ones above 😉.
Just do IT!

Written by Joke Gijsbrechts – in case of any questions or comments, contact me!