We celebrate the International Women's day on the 8th March (International women's rights day, in few countries) because it's important to remind that women are equal of men and it's essential to protect and respect their rights every days of the year but...
nowadays, women make up just 24% of the tech workforce, thus more and more women are encouraged to pursue careers in the tech industry. Initiatives such as Girls who Code and conferences such as European Women in Technology support this movement passionately.
And at Joomla, the trend is not much different. Because there is no fatality, we must do things in others ways and being more inclusive. In our community, some women are really amazing and I've decided to introduce you some of them. These women are so inspiring and so motivating. Really. Read their stories, their advices, their thoughts and you'll be convinced.
Because we need really each others, I do hope that these portraits will inspire others women to embrace a career in tech sector and/or to join the Joomla Community.
What’s your name and your role at Joomla?
I am Christiane Maier-Stadtherr - I am contributor to Joomla and active in many roles and in many teams. When I started with Joomla in 2009 I was specialist for databases and copywriter for power supplies with little knowledge in Web Development. I stumbled upon Joomla, when I wanted to improve a website which I had written for an organisation. I wanted to have a specific extension and started learning programming in Joomla, version 1.5. At the end it was a book on Programming Joomla Extensions (Version 2.5) for beginners. Then I was encouraged and supported in contributing to Joomla. And as many voluteers, I startet with giving the small finger and - bang - the arm was off with the shoulder.
What excites you about your daily work?Playing Joomla! Learning every day something new. Getting in contact with so many people around the world. Helping people by supporting accessibility in the Web.
What did you study?
I started with Maths but then switched to Computer Sciences in combination with medicine.
When did you start to think about pursuing a career in tech?
Never! When I had finished school, I wanted to become a teacher for Maths and German or French. Then changed to Computer Science because this was a quite new and unknown subject at this time. I was told that this is learning computer languages and this was very promising, it seemed to be more interesting than beeing a teacher. I always thought of Software Engineering as a philosophy or kind of linguistics. The Science of solving problems by thinking logically, the computer only a tool for that.
What challenges are you facing as a woman working in tech?
When I started as an employee in 1973, I could not lift the heavy magnetic devices in the computer room. Except of that - none. If there were difficulties or differences, they were not because I am woman.
What would your advice to women considering pursuing a career in tech be?Don't think about tech or non tech, do what you love, love what you do and do it right. I would give this advice also to men.
Are there any specific Book/Blogs/Apps you enjoy & recommend ?
Smashing magazine, a List Apart, Lea Verou.
Heydon Pickering and his accessible web components. And stackoverflow for every question I can have.
Who or what inspires you?
Disabled people who are active and positive.
My first boss - he teached me to never give up and try everything.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I am board member in a organisation for wheelchair users and feel blessed that I can help there with my knowledge. They gave me a passion for accessibility of the web. In private, I like reading criminal stories, walking and chatting with friends.
3 tips you would give your younger self?
Set the focus on networking and supporting women.
Dare to be proud - success comes not by chance but you earned it from your work and your skills.
Ask for respect and for the money you deserve.