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?Laura Gordon, NJ, USA
I participate as a member on the Volunteer Engagement Team and as a member of the Educational and Outreach working group. I also run the NJ Joomla User's Group.
What excites you about your daily work?I love that each day and each hour I help out different types of people, different websites, and no day is ever the same. I constantly am able to challenge myself with learning new skill sets which could be in Joomla, css or even php.
What did you study?I graduated initially as a Marketing Major from UMass Amherst Business School. I think worked at EDS (Ross Perot's company), where they trained me as a Systems Engineer. After being a project manager, I left to Chubb Computer Services, where I had the opportunity to learn different types of systems in order to teach them.
Currently I'm pursuing my Masters in Business Science with a concentration of UXD from the Rutgers MBS program. This program takes everything that I have learned and worked on for the past 30 years and gives me a very specific skill set on the 'why' and the 'how' I can do things better, especially in web development.
When did you start to think about pursuing a career in tech?As a senior in College I did not like any of the opportunities in Marketing, so I went straight to technology, and I found it easy and fun. But in the beginning of my career, I always floated to the 'people' positions such as project management and training. After several years I learned I could actually merge training, management and development all into one.
Currently I work at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where I manage over 120 Joomla websites, and it's a blast!
What challenges are you facing as a woman working in tech?I chose to work from home for 16 years to raise my children. The pros from that approach, was I got the opportunity to use a tool such as Joomla, and began getting clients and building websites. The negative is that I will probably always be slightly behind in what my 'salary' or 'real worth' would be, if I never stopped working. However I do NOT regret my decision at all. I had the best of both worlds. I continued to challenge myself, met people in the Joomla world, so I stayed connected, and I was able to take my kids to the park at the same time.
What would your advice to women considering pursuing a career in tech be?
Find out what you like and figure out what you are good at and just do it. Dream big, and listen to that 'inner voice'. Do something that challenges you and fulfills you at the same time. And don't ever sell yourself short. You are worth it.
My mom who was in tech from the 70s - 90s, always told me I would have to work harder as a woman to prove myself, and that is ok. Just accept what you can do, and do it better than everyone else. I don't mind that, I will work hard, learn more and succeed.
Are there any specific Book/Blogs/Apps you enjoy & recommend ?When I read it's 'junk', it's relaxing material... so you don't want to know my book selection. I am reading some socially active books to learn how to learn more about others that may be different from me.
There are some Joomla apps that I love, but only because I have gotten to know the developers, and they take tremendous pride in their products.