How is this network network from many other existing similar networks like women in STEM/ Women in Technology networks?
“Hardware” refers to the physical parts of a computer. Members of our network work with many different types of hardware. Some of us are electrical engineers developing microchips, and some of us are artists, researchers and designers working with sensors and actuators, 3D printing, robotics, microcontrollers and circuit board assembly. Check out our bios for more details about the types of hardware we work with.
We have three aims:
To provide a safe space for women working with hardware to inspire and support one another. Women in hardware are often a minority group and this can be tough. Many of us are the only women working in our whole company or department. Meeting and sharing stories with people with similar experiences can help us feel less alone.
To challenge stereotypes around what someone who works with hardware looks like. We have all been told “you don’t look like someone who works with hardware”. We want to change this by providing a pool of people to speak at conferences, give interviews, and get promotions in order to change the face of hardware.
To create a web of contacts that those in our network can use to develop their own projects and careers in order to help us all reach our full potential.
It is important that we support women in hardware because women make up 50% of users of hardware. If we don’t have diversity in those who design and develop hardware, then we will not address the needs of a diversity of users. Women have a different experience of the world than men. We can use our experiences as a resource to question and change how we design and use hardware.
Yes, we don’t think that there is one way to be a woman, there are many. We welcome anyone who identifies as “woman”, as well as those who identify as being outside of gender binaries. We aim to be inclusive and invite for input that might help us help all those who want to join and use our network. It is the differences between us that makes us such a rich and valuable network.
There are plenty of networks for men in hardware, they are just not named as such. We are interested in working with people of all genders, as long as they are allies in our goal of aiming for gender equality and supporting women in hardware.