Female web developers

I’m hoping this is the right place to post this, it’s been awhile since I’ve been on sitepoint - and I’m so thrilled that the forums are using Discourse now! :slight_smile:

Anyway, I’m looking for female web developers (any background) who might be interested in being on an advisory board for a Women’s Web Developer Association - or those who might want to be involved in some way. This has somewhat been an idea of mine to create now for the past 4 or 5 years, and I finally have some time to sit down and make it happen. I’ve got two other woman involved in the project, but I’d love to have more if possible.

Some background, I’ve been in web development since 2006ish, I started off with PHP, then found WordPress and other CMS platforms thereafter - however the majority of my client-related web development projects revolve around WordPress, and more recently I’ve been using Ghost. I earned my degree (although useless) in Web Development back in 2012 and I currently work for an agency in Michigan. I think that about sums it up.

Again, super pumped this place is on Discourse now!! :slight_smile:

Cheers

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I’m not trying to be sexist when I say this, so please do not be insulted, but what would this board do? What’s the point of having only women?

No offence taken. I’m looking women who are interested in having a say in this project’s development, the resource offered, daily management, etc.

When I selected this profession, I had zero role models, or people I could go to for advice. I’d like to change that. I’d like to make the profession of being a web developer just as exciting as being in any other industry. I’d like to provide women a resource for finding industry specific jobs, furthering their education (or at least provide easy access to both). I think its a bit overwhelming when you get going, and having an association that offers some kind of free mentoring, access to resources and services, etc would be (and would have been in my case) beneficial for women in the industry, or considering it as a profession.

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Sounds like a great initiative, @sarahfrantz. Quite a few great female web professionals hang around here, so I hope you get some takers. Unfortunately, I don’t qualify. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s easy to miss the importance of that. I had an experience of it in my “last life”—when I was training to be a primary school teacher. It’s a heavily female-dominated profession, and I was lucky to have a lot of brilliant teachers to learn from during my training … except that I felt pretty inferior to them, as I couldn’t imagine being able to do what they were doing. I just didn’t fit in. It wasn’t until I got to spend some time with a male teacher that I realized there was another way to do things—one that I understood and could relate to.

The web design world is heavily male-dominated, so I can imagine that females trying to get into it might feel really out of place without role models, approaches and resources that they can relate to.

I wish you every success! And glad you like the new forums. :smiley:

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Thanks @ralphm :wink:

You totally hit the nail on the head!

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Hi @sarahfrantz, thanks for the feedback on the forums! It’s great to see old members coming back :smile:

Do you have more information on the Association? I have a few people who might be interested.

Great initiative, btw — I know opinions vary on whether minority-only groups are a positive thing for the wider web dev community, but I’m all for increasing visibility of under-represented groups. If there’s anything we at SitePoint can do to help, let me know!

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Hey @Ophelie, it’s nice to be back :wink: Everything looks wonderful, and thank you for the offer.

We’re still writing out all the details for everything (business plan, bylaws, etc) and prepping things to file as a nonprofit - which is why it would be great to have more people involved, to voice suggestions, gather feedback and make sure we’re not overlooking anything. I would love to connect with anyone you think may be interested in the project if you’d like to pm me. :slight_smile:

Whilst I’m not best placed to offer anything specific on female web developers, it is interesting to see a debate on the topic being lead from a female perspective.

I’ve recently being following a discussion on another forum where the question of being asked “Why are there not more female electric guitar players?”. It appears on the face of it (who knows who’s behind a user name), that that particular discussion is entirely consisted of male guitar players. I’m not sure they’ll succeed in answering the questions, though it would appear that a number of stereotypes are being reinforced there.

All I can think is that if you want to succeed in web dev, you will - it does seem that the interest is there. My perception is that that there are already rather more females in the tech industry, than there are on stage wielding a Les Paul (YMMV).

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I think that it is a great idea and I wish you all the luck with it. I would love to help but my time is kind of scarce so I don’t think that I’d be any good in this journey. I’m all for women power :wink:

I do confess that I never cared if I was working in a male dominated world or not. I don’t think is really that dominated, I know quite a few women working in this world as designers or, like myself, programmers. And I never felt that I was treated differently for being a woman.

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http://phpwomen.org/

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For what the idea is worth, I have felt for a long time that the lack of women in tech industries is more to do with a failure in education. My six year old came home this fall and discussed with me her ideas about jobs when she grows up. Firefighters, police officers, computer programmers, astronauts, and several others were “only boy jobs”.

We had a firm discussion about that then, and she didn’t understand why it upset me that she said/thought that, being only six. And we will continue a dialogue until she’s old enough to reason for herself. I don’t care what she wants to do with her life, as long as she is aware of the fact that she can do whatever she wants. It’s hard to imagine how, in today’s society, she’s already being impressed with those sorts of ideas. Television, books, teachers, the toys we buy them…

Leh sigh.

Anyway, my belief is that it’s a roots problem, not so much an affirmative action style problem. If we don’t change how we handle children, they won’t grow up magically different than we did, or our parents did. The same goes for any type of inequality or prejudice, probably, to some degree or another.

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I couldn’t agree with you more. I think its so critical to teach our children that they can do anything they want to do when they grow up, regardless of whatever the social “norm” is - overcoming that will be a huge challenge, but so worth the effort in the long run. I’m not sure if this organization can directly change that overall idea, but definitely overcoming the idea that programming and web development are “boy” jobs would be a good initiative to start with.

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HI,
I would be very interested in being a part of this. I’m a new developer, just starting out after a career as a nurse and now looking to work on improving the deplorable condition of EHR/EMRs in the workplace. I figured instead of bitching about the problem, i’d go out and learn how to solve it. Anyways, it would be nice to be involved in a community of women that band together to lift each other up. unfortunately, that has ended up not being the case in nursing and it is quite disheartening. Just let me know what you need, and I’ll see what I can do to help.

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Hi @erikasf!

We’d love to have you aboard! :wink: Its been quite a while since I started doing web development, so I sometimes forget what it feels like to be just starting out, your perspective and insight would be especially valuable since part of the overall goal of the organization would be to help out those who are new :slight_smile: Feel free to pm me and I’ll send you over some more details!

@sarahfrantz, I’d be very interested in learning more about the organization you are assembling and serving as an advisor or in any capacity. My responsibilities are generally split between UI/UX design and front end development, including HTML, CSS, Javascript, and PHP, and I am currently learning rails. I’ve also worked extensively with the Wordpress CMS and on Shopify templates in liquid.

I love the idea of creating a role model and mentor community for women!

Cheers :smile:

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Hey @elou

Can you pm me? :slight_smile:

It is great to see people interested in a new project. I love it!

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Great initiativ! I’m definitely interested in helping out in any way I can.

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I am well-aware that female Web developers are minority in the industry. However, I think that creating an organization for women only will add to separation of genders. Consider if a Men’s Web Developer Association would likewise be created, and then one for transsexuals. Instead, why not create a no-gender-specific Web Developer Association, and encourage female Web developers to be active within the organization? You might even want to contact already existing organizations such as the International Webmasters Association.

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I totally see your point @frikki, and agree that a non-gender related organization would be a great idea, but I feel that inevitably women would still become the minority of that organization - and separation would still exist.

I think @ralphm really drives home exactly the reason why I feel like this organizations should exist,

It would be great if one, non-gender specific organization could help bridge the IT gender gap, but the overall mission of the organization I’m developing is more of a network of women, who share similar interest (i.e. career choice/path), and providing resources and support specifically geared towards them.

If men felt they needed to form a similar organization, that provided support and resources, mentoring, etc, catered specifically to them, that’s fine too and I would totally condone it. :wink:

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