Can women succeed in tech industry?
Talking about Women in Tech
“In Myanmar, there are still prejudices that women can’t perform well in tech field”.
Women face barriers to success in male-dominated tech industry. Khin Sandar Aung is one of the few women, who made it to a senior position. It was definitely not an easy journey. .
Khin Sandar was raised within traditional and cultural boundaries. In Myanmar’s society jobs in tech are considered to be for men. Women are supposed to become housewives or pursue a career in a field that is typical for women.
“My parents didn’t support me working in the IT industry. They wanted me to become a teacher, a good social status for a women in the country.”
“A teacher in Myanmar used to get paid better at the entry-level than an early career in the IT industry.” However, as career progresses, the career in the IT industry becomes a better job with a better salary.
Only in recent years, women in the tech field receive more support from their parents and they also have more job opportunities with higher salaries.
But discrimination and skepticism against women in the tech field persist. Male colleagues may treat women as subordinates not as equal to themselves. Many of them are not aware of sexism and verbally harass women.
Although more women enter the IT industry nowadays, it’s still difficult for them to reach leadership positions.
That could not stop Khin Sandar. She has been developing mobile applications for over 10 years and is currently working in Japan to gain international working experience.
“I have to sit in front of a screen nearly 24 hours a day. I need to learn about their culture, their work ethics, and mindsets. International employees have many cultural barriers to overcome,” Khin Sandar said. “In Myanmar, there is still the prejudice that women can’t perform well in the tech field. But in Japan, they only evaluate employees based on their performance and work done.”
Nevertheless, Khin Sandar senses the IT industry is changing both globally and locally. The demand of experts is huge. IT people can move to any place in the world and they can easily find a job. They can even stay at home and do only freelance businesses. “If an application we’ve developed becomes viral, we would become a millionaire anytime.”
“I believe every young person in Myanmar can have that dream,” Khin Sandar said.
About Khin Sandar Aung
She was a winner of Falling Walls Lab Myanmar 2017 and currently working as a mobile engineer at Rakuten group Inc in Japan.
These are the abstract from the podcast episode of “Talking about women in TECH” and if you want to listen to more episodes, please listen here.
See full episodes of The Mind of an Entrepreneur Podcast by FNF Myanmar.