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Wix \ AUG 26th 2015

Ctrl, Alt and Conquer: What It’s Like to Be a Woman in IT

Who runs the world wide web? Women, duh.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about women in the workplace. Even with campaigns like #ILookLikeAnEngineer shedding light on women kicking-butt in hi-tech, and the fact that women have been some of the earliest innovators of modern technology, we’ve still got a long way to go before females are considered equal players in typically male dominated industries.

To get a better understanding of what it’s like to be a woman working in tech, we ventured outside of the Wix Marketing department (a 50/50 gender split) and made our way over to the IT team. That’s where we met Ronny and Irin.

The Stats:

Name: Ronny Ratner
Job Title: IT Help Desk Associate
Age: 21
Hometown: Holon, Israel
Favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother
Name: Irin Rollnik
Job Title: IT Help Desk Associate
Age: 21
Hometowns: Jaffa, Israel
Favorite TV Shows: New Girl

Where Did You Gain Your Technical Experience?

Ronny: I was mostly self-taught. Here in Israel, young people enlist in the army after high-school. I wanted to join a computer unit, but I only had some basic tech knowledge, so I looked into the unit’s requirements and took it upon myself to learn the necessary programming skills before I applied. I got accepted to Mamram, The Center for Computing and Information Systems in the IDF, where I was a commander who taught data processing to new recruits.

Irin: I have a similar story. After high-school I was at a crossroads deciding whether to be a medic or join an intelligence unit in the army. I decided to go with the latter. In the army I was the only female in my unit of 6 guys, so working in a predominantly male team was something that I had to deal with from the start of my career.

When Did You First Fall in Love with IT?

Ronny: My high-school offered an after-school course that taught girls the basics of IT. My principal, who is one of my biggest mentors, suggested that I take it and I fell in love with it.

Ctrl, Alt and Conquer: What It’s Like to Be a Woman in IT

What’s it Like Being a Woman in a Mostly Male Department?

Irin: We like to think we’re one of the guys, but truth is, it can be a little hard to get work done without compromising egos. Thankfully, it didn’t take too long before our male counterparts looked beyond our gender and saw us for our intelligence.

Ronny: There’s still a lot of stigma associated with being a female techie. When I was just starting out, I’d show up to fix someone’s computer in the office, and they’d be completely shocked to learn that I’d be the one handling their machine. People got over that pretty quickly too, and now call on me directly to get the job done.

What’s the Best Part of the Job?

Ronny: Can I say working with Irin?
In all seriousness, working in tech support, you get to meet pretty much everyone in the company. I love feeling like I’ve helped someone at the end of the day.

Irin: Honestly, I love breaking things apart to see how they work (and then fix them after of course).

Do You Have Any Ideas for How to Get More Girls Interested in Tech?

Ronny: I’d love to see computer technology be incorporated as a mandatory part of the high school curriculum. After all, you can’t fall in love with a subject that you’ve never learned before.

What Do You Do When You’re Not Working?

Ronny: I make my own jewelry and clay magnets.

Irin: I’m super active outside of work. I love running, doing yoga and hanging out at the beach.

Ctrl, Alt and Conquer: What It’s Like to Be a Woman in IT

 

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