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I don’t want to beat a dead horse to the ground, but I wanted to put in my two cents worth on the recent article, “Nerd Girls take on ‘sexist’ industry” posted here:

http://m.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/nerd-girls-take-on-sexist-industry-20130227-2f5fg.html

For those that know me well, you know that I don’t comment or blog unless it is something that strikes a cord with me or I am passionate about the subject at hand.  What I am about to write, some people may agree with me, some disagree with me and some just think that I am just full of shit. (Pardon my French) But that’s okay…I accept that and I even encourage people to take my view and mull it over…good or bad.

Now, getting back to the main topic at hand, if you were to look back in history, discrimination and stereotyping has been in existence for as long as we can remember.  Whether it is sex, race or religion, it is a reality.  And for women, they have always had an uphill battle with equality.  Even though things have gotten better over time, unfortunately it still exists.

I for one have been a victim of discrimination and stereotyping.  Being a minority woman with a small stature, it always has been an uphill battle for me to gain respect.  But I took that as being a way to grow, improve and challenge myself.  In some ways, all the discrimination and stereotyping has made me who I am today.

Now lets be honest with ourselves, we all have discriminated and stereotyped others at one time or another.  We see it all the time…on TV, in advertising, etc.  Just look at the Super Bowl ads…beer commercials with sexy women, car advertisements with gorgeous girls.  Bottom line, sex sells, subliminal or not.  We are all guilty in stereotyping with such stereotypes as secretaries are just “sexitaries” and don’t have brains, or that football players are not smart, or that all “nerd” girls wear glasses and are unattractive.  As much as we don’t like it, its something we deal with every day.

And what about those women that work in a male dominated career field?  Do they have to work harder and smarter to gain that respect?  Possibly, maybe, yes…I suppose it depends on who you are and whom you are talking to.  Do we, as women have to become brass and wear a chip on our shoulder to prove to ourselves and to others that we belong?

So what do you do with all this and how do you deal with it on an individual level?  My personal belief as well as personal experience, it all boils down to how you perceive yourself.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you happy with whom you are?
  • Are you happy with what you do?
  • Are you confident in what you do?
  • Do you feel you are making a difference?

If you can answer yes to all these questions, then what does it matter what industry does or says?  Who cares if a woman that works in a male dominant field wears dresses and has a pink iPhone case?  Kudos to her!  To me, this tells me she is comfortable with who she is regardless of what others think or perceive her to be.

Don’t let discrimination, stereotyping and industry protocol mold you into something you are not.  Be proud of who you are (Yes, I AM WOMAN, hear me ROAR)

Worry about things you can change and not on things you cannot.  The Serenity Prayer (as cliché’ as it may be) has some very powerful words to live by:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,


And wisdom to know the difference.”

As much as we would like to change the way industry perceives women in a male dominant field, it’s not going to change for a long time.  Accept it, embrace it and be all who you can be.  If you can, I guarantee, life will be much easier and you will be a lot happier.

So Kudos to all the women out there – Nerd girls, homemakers, doctors, lawyers, secretaries, administrative assistant, teachers, nannies or whatever you do…. You can and do make a difference and that is all that matters.

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