A few months ago I was with a client who said that a custom home technology firm salesman had come to their home to discuss their various electronic needs to simplify their lifestyle and have more fun. When she opened the door, the salesman immediately asked for her husband Paul who had made the call for the appointment. She stated he would be down soon because he just got home from work. She offered him something to drink and then moved towards the kitchen table. She began discussing the various types of systems she wanted in their home. The salesman stopped her mid sentence to say, "Paul called me so I believe we should wait for him before we start." She said he would be down soon and they could start talking. He then dismissed her and stated, "Won't Paul know more about what you want?
Well, Mr Salesman was wrong. Paul did not know more than his wife (an Aeronautical Engineer) AND she is the money maker in the home. She told me that they quickly ushered him out and did a little more homework. They called our Company, Tech Tonic Consultants.
I have been talking to many homeowners, clients, and friends about this incident. To my surprise, the vast majority of women say that most contractors that come to their home only want to talk with the male of the household. What year is this?
I also talked to my wife. She said "absolutely" this happens almost everyday. She reminded me of the Roofer that came to our home to inspect our old tiles. He used the words "Lady you do not want that" and "What does your husband want?" She told me it was frightening to speak with someone who did not accept you as an equal and did not listen. She then went on to say to him, "I may not know as much about roofing as you do, but I sure as shit do not want to have you work on our home." I love my wife!
When I went to the University of Illinois in the early 80's (The best decade) to study Electrical Engineering, I usually only had 1-3 women in the classes with attendance over 100 students. Most courses had absolutely zero. I have to say I was surprised back then of the low amount of females registered in engineering classes. I do not know what it is now, but I sure hope that it is more then when I was there. It has to be right? Right?
I was recently on a project that we were the e-Concierge for our clients. For Tech Tonic, that means we call all the service providers such as AT&T, Xfinity, DirecTV, and others to set up service. We also meet with the installer and have the services set up properly. In this particular case I was waiting for a Xfinity installer for new Internet and phone services. The doorbell rang and I was shocked to see a female installer. (I felt horrible to be surprised.) I asked her how many there were of her out there as I had NEVER seen a female "Cable Guy." She laughed and said 2 in the metropolitan area we were in. Well, she "hooked us up" like a true Professional. As well, she was the most clear and personable Xfinity Installer I have ever had over ALL the years I have been doing this. PERIOD.
I think of all of these events as my youngest daughter has begun an internship with our Design and Consulting Firm. She is studying Data Analytics and is very sharp. However, in the world of Custom Installed Electronics, I have yet to see in 30 years one female programmer. Yes, I have seen more women at the Technology shows I attend. However, I normally see them in firms doing the scheduling, sales & marketing, accounting, or human resources. Why is that?
Women deserve better. They deserve to be heard and afforded the opportunity to make their qualitative decisions about what they are purchasing. (If a client is married, I will only have a meeting with the Husband and Wife together.) They are smart and intuitive. I have had better questions from most women about projects. They understand what is purposeful and will be used 24/7 rather than the "shiny pearly object" that costs thousands of dollars.
Years ago, when she was in grade school, my daughter told me she loved math. I was ecstatic as I told her everything revolves around math and numbers. They can be used to explain everything. She asked what kind of jobs she could have majoring in Math. I told her about all the careers that I knew of from actuary to statistician and then I chuckled. "Or, you could be a CFO of a large corporation." She asked what that was and I explained. She then said with great resolve, "That is what I want to be!"
Go make it happen and do not let ANYONE tell you what you want!