Today I had a discussion that made me sad, I met a young lady and while we got talking I got to know she studied Computer science, I got excited and wanted to know what she was doing with the degree, she said she works at a call center and she’s into customer service, a noble profession but I wanted to know why the change, perhaps she wasn’t into computer science or maybe she was doing that to make ends meet while she got her dream job or something, I poked further asking more questions, of course, I wasn’t going to leave her without understanding why, fortunately, she was open to sharing and she simply stated that she had to change career path because of certain factors, her primary interests were networking and Hardware engineering, so it wasn’t a disinterest in computer science that led to change.
The first thing she mentioned was going further in life she might not have an understanding husband and she would most likely have to drop the job if it came in the way of taking care of her family, I laughed and replied saying surely you get to choose whom you marry and you could try to marry an understanding man, she replied saying he might seem understanding at the beginning but later things can change. Hmmm, at this point I got what she was saying and I wanted to know what other factors she was looking at since she said there were many factors, I asked about parents and family pressure since that usually tops the list, she clearly stated that there were no issues at that end as her parents had no particular career expectations, hence no pressure. Still, in the spirit of poking, she decided to share a story of what happened recently, while in school on her Industrial training, she was looking to get an internship opportunity at an IT firm, she approached her uncle who worked in one. His feedback was the company doesn’t hire females because if there’s a need to work overnight then the ladies might not be able to stay overnight because they have husbands and families. A reason out of many why they don’t consider women for certain technical roles. Now I was hurt more because I couldn’t blame her, she had looked at society and realized that since it might not favor her, she opted for her next interest which is customer service since she loved talking to people. She did relish the idea
I tried persuading her to consider taking steps by the side to further her IT career path but it appeared she didn’t see a way forward, her worldview was different. I really wouldn’t have minded if she made the change of career because she had more interest in Customer service or something else, like I said before it’s a noble profession, most professions are noble and play a significant role in the society but she had to stir up the interest in Customer service because her first love appeared too tough to love. I only met the lady today and could only extract as much as I could, obviously, there were more things that were left unsaid and I’m grateful for the few reasons I got to know.
For today, let’s leave the talk about how she could still persevere and make it and how she was just giving excuses as I know someone is thinking, or about how the world is changing and many companies are equal opportunity companies even though these have their place. There’s still a Gap in Gender Equality and while I just became more familiar with it sadly, it’s the world we live in and like Melinda Gates said “We’re sending our daughters into a workplace designed for our dads“