There is no doubt that tech is booming and rapidly becoming one of the leading global industries. Along with it has come the notion of ‘brogrammer’ culture, arising from a number of cases that have come to light, most recently the scandals surrounding the tech startup Zenefits, leaked emails from Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel, and a very public sexual harassment lawsuit between Tinder and their ex-VP of Marketing. To put it simply, many tech companies have garnered more comparisons to a frat house than a serious business.
Examples like this bring into focus the casual party atmosphere that some startups have and call into question whether the culture is as equally appealing and welcoming to women as it is to men. Many, citing the unequal ratio of women to men in tech, believe that these stereotypes are deterring women from seeking jobs in the industry and creating a gender–biased workplace. Like most other industries, tech just isn’t there yet in terms of full gender equality and there is a lot of room for improvement.
However, let’s not discredit some of bro culture’s more positive attributes including its role in establishing a sense of community. Getting to know colleagues over a game or a cold beer creates relationships and cohesion among both men and women. When you are working with people you are comfortable with and enjoy being around, you are bound to work better together. This culture also adds an element of relaxation to an overall high stress industry. If you need to take a breather or give your brain a break you can kick back for five minutes and catch up with friends.
The tech industry as a whole has created a space for women to build their careers. Due to the rapid pace and extreme competitiveness of technology, entrepreneurs have been able to grow their ideas into huge businesses regardless of gender. There’s no time for second guessing, the best ideas succeed no matter the face behind them. This allows the women of the tech industry to compete with men on an equal playing field. Despite its reputation, tech has provided a platform like no other for women to launch their careers and become the frontrunners of the industry, ready to be mentors for the next generation of female techies. This opportunity simply does not exist to this degree in other industries. Women in tech still face gender-related obstacles that plague all industries but the tech sector has provided a stepping stone to a more equal world.