Be age confident - #TechAtAnyAge
With icons like Mark Zuckerburg proclaiming that “younger people are just smarter", technology is a particularly hard place to get on with when you’re older, and made doubly hard when you add in the other "isms" like gender and race. But, things are changing, and in June 2016 we spent time at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, named after the iconic computer programming pioneer Grace Hopper.
The conference is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists and this year the final session was #TechAtAnyAge, a workshop seeking to address the challenges and potential solutions for the incidence of what, is socially still acceptable, ageism in tech industries. Rosanne Malfucci, from Thoughtworks, a community of passionate individuals whose purpose is to revolutionise software design, creation and delivery, while advocating for positive social change, described the unexpected power of naming your age in this forum.
“We started the workshop introducing ourselves by name, role, and importantly, age. I didn’t realize until the words came out of my mouth, but there is something revolutionary about standing up on stage and sharing your age with a room of colleagues. There’s a resonance in the unspoken; a recognition of expectations set around age and the silent pressure we place on each other—and ourselves—based on (real or perceived) age", Rosanne Malfucci.
What became clear to Rosanne, and the 150 other delegates involved in this session was the importance of validation in sharing their stories, anything from being asked to train up new developers to ways of juggling life needs in your 30s, 40s and beyond, with work obligations.
You can find out more info on #techatanyage or visit Thoughtworks
"There’s a resonance in the unspoken; a recognition of expectations set around age and the silent pressure we place on each other."
If you liked the story above, we think you will also like these related stories from our In—Common library.
Full time carer Victoria Lee is asked what she would ask for if she (more)
The answers lie in the crowd
Norman Lewis, Head of Crowdsourcing at PwC passionately argues the case for encouraging all (more)