We asked Marie-Philippe Gill how she got her start in tech blogging, and how we can encourage other young women to explore the same STEM pursuits.
What gave you the confidence to start Girl Knows Tech?
Having a blog can be challenging because we put ourselves out there every time we hit publish. We expose ourselves and our opinions to the trolls. However, I love writing; it’s one of my passions. At the same time, I’m learning social media marketing, SEO, hosting management, and more, which further improves my skill set. It pushes me out of my comfort zone every day, and the personal growth I’ve experienced is worth it.
What is your own experience with gender inequality in STEM?
I have just graduated with my master’s degree. I have been in supportive environments where my voice was welcomed. However, I’ve seen my friends in difficult positions with their superiors making sexist remarks and not establishing healthy boundaries in the workplace. Sometimes, it can be difficult to just make our points heard in a meeting. It should be easy, it should be a given, but that isn’t always the case.
How can we encourage more women to study STEM subjects in K-12?
For me, what made the biggest difference is that my high school offered optional tech classes. After being initiated to programming on Neopets.com, I enrolled in the classes. I had an amazing teacher who offered exciting projects like making video games at 13, creating websites, and more. He was encouraging and gave me confidence that I could succeed in technology!
How can we bring more gender diversity to the field?
I believe that we need to make sure students in K-12 have multiple opportunities to discover STEM careers. If students had more than one tech class with different projects to really show them what we can create in tech — and how we can improve the world and have a significant impact with those creations — then we have a chance to bring more diversity into the field.