This is going to sound like I’m hating on this particular shop in Belfast, but I promise you I’m not. Think of it as story time……. Just story time with a very clear gender bias.
OK OK, I know you’re probably thinking ‘that’s all we need another woman complaining about the gender bias in the tech industry.’ And you are correct that’s exactly what’s needed. Another one and another one and another one until everyone on the planet knows that women and men are in fact *gasp* equal. The worst part about this story is that it wasn’t an intentionally biased question…it came from a deeply rooted societal notion that only men do technical work.
Anyway back to the story….
Once upon a time, not too long ago (read: last week) in a magical land far, far away (read: Northern Ireland) lived a young woman. Now she was no ordinary young woman for she had a mind of her own and did not bow down to any man’s notion that he or his kind were greater than her or womankind.(God forbid anyone pass a sexist remark around her, for they most certainly felt her wrath). After graduating with a degree in Interactive Multimedia Design, this young woman accepted a job with a drone flight management company in Belfast and acquired her own drone.
After a while, she got pretty confident flying her drone around and suddenly realised that the single battery she owned would not be enough to document her adventures in the magical kingdom (read: Irish Countryside). With grand ideas in her head of buying a new battery and informing everyone in the shop of her drone blog (plug: littlemissdrone.com), she headed off to the Old Smoke(read: Belfast).
Once she finally figured out how to get into the shop, the very helpful but unknowingly gender biased shop assistant made a huge faux pas. While making small talk as the card transaction went through, the young man said
“Aw cool, so what does HE fly?”
assuming that she was not the intended owner of the drone battery.
“It’s actually for me. Yes. Me. I’m a drone pilot.”
said the young girl as multiple other eyes fell on her in the shop.
And so the young girl corrected the shop assistant and carried on with her day and lived happily ever after with 23 more minutes of flight time for her Phantom 3.
Except it isn’t really the end…. it’s just the beginning. Hopefully, by bringing attention to these small but still annoying gender based remarks, we can start to bring about a new and refreshed view on makeup of the tech world.