(MARSHALL, Texas) – An instructor for Texas State Technical College hopes to recruit more women into technical jobs.
Erica Griffin, a Process Operations instructor at TSTC’s Marshall campus, has worked in technical jobs for 10 years and was employed at TSTC in January. During her short time at TSTC, she has met with enrollment coaches and recruiters in an effort to encourage more women to work in technical jobs.
Griffin spoke to how the ratio of men to women in technical jobs has changed, and how she believes that it can be changed further.
Can you tell me about the ratio of men to women in technical jobs and how it is changing?
What we’re seeing is a slow shift in the dynamic, in the ratio of men to women. But what we’re seeing, and the reason why it’s higher (ratio) men to women is because one, I think it’s just a standard of mostly our grandparents’ generation. Women worked the school jobs because they nurtured kids and took care of kids, so they had to be home at eight to five, where in the tech industry, typically, the schedule can fluctuate a little bit more.
I also heard something not too long ago, and it said the reason why there are more men in tech roles is because men like things, and women like people. And so women tend to naturally gravitate toward jobs and roles that deal with people …. I think it’s just a mindset shift of understanding that you can exist in a tech role where you also nurture things and you fix things. But you also have the relationship with the people in those spaces, so it’s really not separate.
What can be done to encourage more women to work in technical jobs?
I think a lot of industries being publicly vocal about how they’re trying to diversify their workforce (will help) …. As men and women, we just think differently. We maneuver through the world differently, we see different perspectives, we look at the same thing and see two different things, and those perspectives can be built off of each other. Not only do we teach each other when we’re able to do that, but we can provide the best input toward a solution to whatever problem that is faced in the industry as well.
What is the one thing you think women need to know about technical jobs?
The job is doable; it is nothing that is above or beyond anybody’s capabilities …. Some of the women that I worked with are some of the best (people) that I’ve ever worked around, and they did just as much, and we were expected to do just as much as the men …. You limit yourself, you put yourself in a box if you don’t explore the things that you are interested in. Right now, I think that we really need different opinions, different dynamics and different perspectives. Because we’re starting to see trends with the same thing over and over again, what can we bring to the table that is different?
What would your encouragement be to women considering a technical job?
Just do it. Don’t let the world or society’s vision of what technical roles contain keep you from doing something that you love. If you’re naturally good at something, the world needs it. Don’t pull yourself back for the comfort of others.
For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.