What has your experience been like as a woman tech founder? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
My experience has been good. I think I'm a bit of an odd case because I don't have a technically traditional background. I do not code any of the software we make, and my biggest claim to technical fame is that I took one Java programming class in college, as it was required for my major at the time. I did Ace that class, and had a wonderful professor who made it extremely enjoyable, but it wasn't the focus of my studies.
What that class did give me, though, was the ability to generally understand and explain technical concepts, and think about how they might solve problems. What being a person in this space with a humanities background has shown me is the extreme importance of having people who communicate well what technology does--especially to the layperson--so I'm a huge advocate of people getting involved with tech even if you're not a coder. See my answer about the future of AI for more about the importance of diversity in teams.
That said... besides at my company where we are currently about 50/50 men and women, most of my time working in tech and law enforcement alike is spent with a male majority. I've felt the awkwardness of walking into a room of male police officers and them wondering why I'm there, until I walk to the front of the class and start teaching. I've found that looking different--and often being the only woman--does garner attention, but I see it as an opportunity to raise the bar. Usually I am underestimated, and so I love the chance to reframe the conversation and show them how much higher the bar for me needs to be.
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