I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a time, country and surrounding where I never felt like I wasn’t able to be or become something because I am a girl. BUT stereotypes die hard and even I have experienced some situations where I felt offended because people labeled me for my age or sex. It also happened to me in the tech-world. Once I told someone (outside of the Neos universe) that I am a member of the Neos Core Team and that someone laughed at me. Of course I knew what he was getting at. That smiley girl with the make-up and the dresses is a developer? I didn’t bother arguing and saved him in saying that I am in marketing and not a developer. He was a lost cause.
This would never happen in the Neos Community though. Granted, sometimes they forget I know close to nothing about technology and tell me things I don’t understand because they get so excited, but that kind of is the point. They treat me equally. Because I am part of the team and I bring value in my own way.
I mean look at the fabulous women of the Neos Core Team. Look at Gina. As a Director of the Neos Foundation, she is taking care of all things regarding the foundation. In addition she is helping the community to stay healthy by organizing, facilitating and moderating the Neos project retrospectives twice a year. Look at Maya. Mayas Neos Conference 2019 talk was voted best talk by the conference attendees. And look at me. The 29-year old management assistant who has no idea about code or IT, but instead passion for the project and team, organizing the official Neos Conference for the 4th year in a row (with help of the awesome team obviously.)
Don’t get me wrong. I may be a girly girl sometimes and I don’t care. And so don’t they. I’m not treated like “one of the guys” or put into cotton because I am not a man. To the team and the community I am a member. They give me room to be who I am and when I feel vulnerable they don’t dismiss me as being an emotional girl. They care and offer to help and comfort me.
Of course we want more women in the community and in tech. Because we strive for diversity. But not to meet some trend or hit a minimum percentage. We want women because they bring other senses like reason and logic to the table that the stereotypical male might not. Let me give you an example from my dear conference team. Whenever my guys get lost in talking about laser shows and rockets and Barack Obama as a speaker, I’m the one that brings them back to reality and says, “I already talked to Obama, he’s busy but let’s be real, the laser is not in the budget.”
So if you feel insecure whether or not you could be part of this community because you’re a woman or not good enough for whatever silly reason - just ask yourself those 3 questions:
- Am I interested in Neos or technology?
- Am I passionate about what I do?
- Would I like to be in an environment that values Humility, Responsibility, Respect and Trust?
Well, I’d say join us on Slack. Talk to me or one of our friendly team members. Go to a Meetup near you. Check out a full on Neos Sprint for a few days. Or even experience the maximum community power at the Neos Conference 2020 in Dresden. We are happy to have you. No matter who you are. And if you'd like to join the conference but the ticket is out of your price range, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will find a way.
The Neos Community is a great place to be. I feel safe and appreciated every day I am around them.
PS: Oh and even though I call myself a strong and independent woman - I’m glad to be surrounded by polite and respectful gentlemen who drop what they were doing when they see me lifting heavy stuff or juggling three things at the time. I mean, come on dude - I’m just a girl.