April Graves talks about “Getting Real with Women in Tech” in this episode of ColdFusion Alive podcast with host Michael Smith. April is a senior software engineer working on projects for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“It's interesting I started the ColdFusion user group in Orlando because I was so excited. I was new in the field. It was 1998 and it was my first programming job. I wanted to learn from people. I was really excited and so, I started the user group actually to learn. And through that group, I think is how you found me because you know, we would all kind of network and those types of things.” – April Graves
- How did speaking at conferences help your career?
- She also started the ColdFusion user group in Orlando
- When you teach, you learn
- Met great new friends
- Got invited to write a magazine article
- Got audience feedback on my talk – helped me improve
- Better for the job interview!
- The challenge of getting women to speak at events
- Schools don’t encourage girls to stand out
- Women more socially aware so more sensitive to potential feedback
- Perceived risk
- What are issues you have experienced with being a woman in tech
- Difficult being taken seriously
- Being given more responsibilities
- Had to work harder to get to the same responsibilities as men hired at the same time
- Taking care of kids while working full time
- Not being heard the same way as men in meetings
- Pay gap
- Women not negotiating as much or at all on new jobs
- Aggression trap when speaking up (fear of the B word label)
- Back talk on getting power through sex rather than ability
- Manager had low expectations initially
- How have you dealt with them?
- Speak to it when it happens eg in a meeting
- Prepare for salary negotiation using salary surveys and other tools
- Better for Millennials
- Everyone has something to bring to the table → better software
- Giving everyone on the team a fair say
- Encouraging teen women to go into STEM careers
- Role model
- Sit in the front row of class and speak up
- Women in Science event
- Google #Iamremarkable
Mentioned in this episode:
- A Google engineer wrote that women may be unsuited for tech jobs. Women wrote back. (article)
- The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google (article)
- A Female Tech Industry Veteran’s Response to the Googler’s Manifesto (article)
- #IamRemarkable movement
- @iamremarkable (Twitter)
- Star VC apologizes for his role in tech's sexist culture (article)
- Study: Female Coders Better Than Men, But Perceived As Worse (article)
- Hear Us Roar: A Manifesto for Women and Minorities in Startup, Tech, and Business Communities (article)
- Gender-Fluid Geek Girls; Negotiating Inequality Regimes in the Tech Industry
- Female and minority at Google
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April Graves is a Senior Software Engineer with nearly two decades of experience designing and developing software solutions for customers like the DOD, Public Safety, Financial Services and NASA. She has founded user groups, written for journals, presented at conferences, and currently a member of the NASA Speaker Bureau. April has used her education and experience to share knowledge with the new generation of Computer Scientists as a mentor and Adjunct Professor.
Michael: Welcome back to the show. I'm here with April Graves. We’re going to talk about getting real with women in tech. And April is a senior software engineer working on projects for the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. And has been doing software related things for many decades now. And welcome April.
April: Hi, thank you very much. Thank you for having me.
Michael: Now, I met April through the C.F. United Conference many years ago when I invited her to speaker about because so few women speakers and I thought she’ll be good presenting. And I'm kind of curious to speaking at that conference or other conferences have any impact on your career?
April: Oh absolutely, it had a huge impact on my career. It's interesting I started the ColdFusion user group in Orlando because I was so excited. I was new in the field. It was 1998 and it was my first programming job. I wanted to learn from people. I was really excited and so, I started the user group actually to learn. And through that group, I think is how you found me because you know, we would all kind of network and those types of things.