The Future of Women in Tech
“Science is not a boy’s game, it’s not a girl’s game. It’s everyone’s game. It’s about where we are and where we’re going.”
-Nichelle Nichols, NASA Ambassador
“Where we’re going” shouldn’t see gender.
When I shared my previous posts around women in technology, I had only planned for a two-part blog post. However, I enjoyed my interview with Divya so much that I wanted to continue my look into the perception of women in the technology industry. After opening my eyes to the potential challenges that women who take an interest in STEM face, it’s hard to believe how long of a ways our society has to go. This kept me thinking about the future of women in technology: What strides do we plan on making? Where do we go from here? I wanted to get another woman’s perspective from Passport, but this time, to get her opinion about the future of women in technology. I sat down with Passport’s Project Implementation Manager, Haley Bohon, who received a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University. I was able to get some of her insights on women in technology and where this industry is headed:
1. Tell us about your role at Passport
“I’ve been a project manager at Passport for the past year. I implement client roll-outs of all sizes – both large cities and private parking operators. I handle implementation timelines, system set-ups, merchant processing integrations, hardware integrations, and quality assurance. As a project manager at Passport, I’m also the main liaison between our development team and the client during implementation.”
2. What led you to choose engineering as a career?
“I was always interested in math and science growing up, so it was natural for me to pursue engineering. I studied mechanical engineering because it was broad and I knew I’d have quite a bit of opportunity with it. Especially with natural communication and people skills, I hoped that an engineering education would set me up really well for my career. And so far, it has!”
3. Why do you think people still have a certain perception of women in technology?
“It’s simple – there just aren’t enough women in technology. It’s hard to have a perception of something that you never see! I can’t tell you how many times I got comments in college (and even now) for being a woman in engineering. It wasn’t because people thought that I couldn’t handle it – it’s just because people weren’t used to seeing it.”
4. From your experiences as a woman in engineering, what steps do you think we could take to change this perception and to continue empowering women?
“We need more role models and women who are going against the grain – and it’s exciting to see this already happening. Debbie Sterling, founder/CEO of GoldiBlox, is doing huge things to encourage more women in engineering by creating building toys for young girls. Career thoughts start early, so it’s important to see those role models out there and for young girls to know that engineering is a possibility.”
5. What changes do you see in the future for women in the tech industry?
“Simply put, I see a more diverse workforce. People in the engineering and technology industries create an array of products for both women and men, so it’s important to have the same diversity in your development force as you do in your consumer base.”
Where do you see the future of women in the tech industry headed? As more positive female role models emerge, we hope that this continues to encourage women to pursue their interests in STEM.
The sky is the limit.