The fiercest women in tech?

Rebecca Parsons

This week I interviewed Rebecca Parsons, CTO at Thoughtworks, who outlined some of the challenges facing women in IT.

Apparently having a family is tricky for female tech heads. Part-time and flexible work is hard to find because colleagues might question their commitment.

"In many companies that have adopted flexible work policies, it’s seen as a career limiting move to take advantage of some of these benefits," she explained.

The lack of women in IT, she believes, is also reinforcing some of the worst stereotypes in the industry.

"An anti-social man with poor hygiene habits, living in his mother’s basement, surviving on pizza and coke cola and playing war games till 4am. There are people like that in our business… There’s a phrase you hear a lot in the US, ‘Brogrammer’, this macho programming culture and women don’t necessarily fit well into that culture."

There is a lack of knowledge about female leaders and this is partly due to the fact that so few women beyond the likes of Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg are leading startup companies, she believes.

Let’s not make it all doom and gloom though. Here are some female leaders in the tech world to inspire the next generation of leaders.

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