I was a teenage girl in the 80’s. My dad has been a programmer and worked in technology for as long as I have known him. He brought home computers before people had them in their homes. I took Basic and Pascal programming classes in high school and as far as I recall I was the only girl or one of three girls in those classes.
I also helped my dad work on our cars. We watched Indy car races together. I was the only girl I knew through high school and college that worked on cars or knew how cars worked.
My dad also taught me how to be a sound engineer. I continued my interest in sound engineering into college. I was the only girl I knew that liked sound equipment.
It’s been a challenge most of my life finding my place in technology but I have been met more with surprise and confusion by those who didn’t know how to handle my desire to learn more in computers, cars and sound engineering. Now I’m an almost 20-year veteran in Software Technical Support, I’m an officer in a local car enthusiasts club and I’m the technical director for a multiple campus church.
Sometimes I wonder how far along I could be if I had a mentor when I was younger and that mentor told me to reach for the sky. So I have embraced the young ladies in my sphere of influence and constantly tell them to not let anybody say they can’t do something because they are a girl. All the girls love my “It was never a dress” sticker on my laptop. I’d love to get more to give to my girls and as my company is going to be replacing my laptop soon, I want to make sure I get a sticker for the new one.