I was reading the article by Clay Shirky this morning and it lit a fire under me. The post, titled A Rant About Women, in short says that when women fail it’s often not because of lack of talent, ambition or intelligence but an unwillingness to be “arrogant self-aggrandizing jerks.” He was irritated to see more men than women succeed in his program at NYU ITP despite similar ability. I’ll leave it to you to read the whole post. It’s well worth the time.
I have my moments when I summon the balls to be the bitch the situation deserves. One of those was at SXSWi last March. I was having a Frito pie at a sports bar with the CTO of Cheezburger Networks, Scott Porad. We had met at SXSWi in 2009 and were catching up on the year’s accomplishments. He was telling me about which positions they were looking to hire to see if I knew anyone. One of those particularly difficult to fill was a designer that could code. (Me!) Great! But he phrased it in such a way that it made it sound like he didn’t think I was qualified.
I sat and munched on my fritos and fretted a bit. What was wrong with me? What had I done wrong? Maybe I’m not good enough. The conversation had drifted onto another subject. I finally got up my gumption and said I felt I had the skills he was looking for. What is it I lack? (Swallows hard.) If there was some critical skill I need, I should find out what it is so I can correct it.
Turns out, he just wasn’t aware I was a coder. He discounted me as a potential candidate because of a little misinformation. The rest of the story is predictable. I got the job. EPIC WIN! Kitties. LOLz. Yadda yadda.
The point is that those moments of moxie make all the difference.
Thanks to Tara Hunt for mentioning the post on twitter this morning. It made my day.