Women Shaping the Web
March 16, 2018
Hi there, I’m a woman and I want to be a web developer and designer. I’m going to graduate in a few months with an Associate of Science degree in Web Design & Interactive Media from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, so now what?
Here’s my shortlist:
• Learned to code
• Learned some graphic design
• Now find a job!
Finding a job and succeeding in a male-dominated industry seems like a challenge. Thankfully, there are support systems for women in tech—professional organizations to tap into and a lot of women in the field you can connect with.
There is also a vibrant history of women in tech and in web or game design to inspire us.
True, men outweigh us in the industry by a whopping 3 to 1 ratio. But guess what? Like literally every industry, with the exception of motherhood, we women have had to break into it.
The Internet, as it is now, is less than 30 years old. This burgeoning and exciting world is ripe with opportunity.
Actually women STARTED and championed programming long before the parade of anti-social men with long beards seemingly took over. You may not know the names Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper, but they helped invent NASA’s supercomputers.
Women were also instrumental in code breaking during WWII.
Dame Wendy Hall is a computer scientist who helped develop HTML and, to this day, continues to shatter glass ceilings as the Managing Director of the Web Science Trust.
Women have played a much larger role than you may have realized on the back end of the web.
On the front end and shaping the design world, pioneers like the VNS Matrix—a group of four Australian women—hacked their way into the early days of the web with the cyber-feminism movement. At the time, women were almost non-existent in the gaming world. VNS Matrix created women dominated games, billboards with game-themed images and female heroes. They made websites, hosted events and created an international revolution for women and the web.
In the early 1990s another awesome female techy, Jaime Levy, made waves in multimedia and interactive platforms.
If you are just starting out in the field, look for women you can connect with, start here. Join organizations and learn everything you can about what you love. Most importantly—be bold, be daring, be you. Don’t think you need to mask your voice or creativity to fit into a male-dominated industry. This industry belongs to everyone. And if you ever feel like you are paddling through a sea of men, remember—women started it. They dominated the field in the beginning. And maybe it’s time for women to take it back.
Check out some awesome women currently working in the field. Find them on Facebook or Twitter and be a part of the community!
To read more about stats on women in tech, see Robert Cheng’s article, “Women in Tech” on Cnet.com.
For information on Gainful Employment for the Web Design & Interactive Media – Associate of Science program, click here.
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