In the latest blog in our TechFuture Women series, Apps for Good Expert Dianna Yau shares her journey to become a woman in tech.
My journey to become a women in tech was more or less accidental. It started with an internship at IBM, one of the largest, global technology companies where I was exposed to technology transforming enterprises. I wanted to work there because they offered one of the most competitive internships at my university. The following semester, I interned at Google, where my motivation was to work for one of the coolest companies in the world, not mainly because it was in tech. Then I plunged into the startup ecosystem, which is inherently technology driven but that was more because I was attracted to the entrepreneurial, go-getter energy and personas surrounding startups.
I feel lucky that I literally fell into technology because now my life mission and vision is intricately tied to tech. My mission is to leverage technology as the driver of solutions in education, poverty, and healthcare in our global society. However, more women should from an early age intentionally consider technology as a path. Early on I shied away from engineering and tech because it was a “manly” field and I just didn’t “get it”. We fear what we don’t know.
I look back now and wish technology had a clearer path for my younger self. If I had a woman mentor early on who served as an example and dispelling the various myths, perhaps I would have discovered my passion for technology earlier on. But rather than just wishing what could have or should have been, let’s start paving the pathway to technology for our future generation of girls and boys through exposure, mentorship, and education. This means having women tech leaders championing efforts to get more girls and boys into tech early on, even from primary school. Another is to dissolve the gender stereotype that tech is a male dominated field and females are not welcome. This can only happen if there is a more equal split between the number of men and women in the tech world – we only believe what we can see. Lastly it’s important to integrate technology into the education system to help young people see that it’s as much a necessity today to learn digital skills as it is to learn how to type.
Are you a woman in tech? Would you like to help inspire girls and boys about the role women can play in the tech industry? Join the TechFuture Women’s Network now! The first mentoring opportunity available is to become an Apps for Good Expert and help guide young people as they develop their own problem-solving apps.