International Model And iOS Developer Lyndsey Scott Rewriting The Code For Women In Tech
International model, actor and iOS developer Lyndsey Scott is smashing stereotypes in the tech industry so future generations of women don’t have to.
Scott, who has modelled for the likes of Gucci, Prada and Victoria's Secret and was the first African American model to sign an exclusive contract with Calvin Klein is in Australia this week to campaign for greater equality in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“There are so few women in tech, and as the need for tech grows so does the need for women in the industry,” she told 10 daily.
“As technology becomes more important in our world it’s important girls don’t get left behind.
“Code is a new form of literacy that’s going to become crucial to everyone.”
Scott was on the iOS tutorial team for Apple, has done a number of video tutorials alongside Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg for Code.org and has built a career as an established software engineer.
But despite all of her achievements she says she constantly has to prove herself in a male-dominated industry.
“I’ve had to prove to developers that I’m actually capable of writing code,” she said.
“Before that, I was really struggling, it was as if people would discredit my credentials and want more proof.”
Scott was the target of trolls last year when a programming community Instagram account posted a photo of her titled ‘Coding is for anyone’.
She was forced to defend herself, listing her qualifications and writing: “Not trying to brag lol, just stating facts in the hope I’ll convince at least one negative commenter that programmers can come in all shapes, sizes, genders, races, etc. so they’ll think twice before doubting other women and girls they encounter in tech.”
The struggles women face in the industry are part of a larger problem, Scott says -- that women aren’t encouraged to enter the tech industry like men are.
“It has nothing to do with me being a model and actor. There’s a much bigger issue at play -- women aren’t being included in this rapidly growing industry.”
Scott will be one of several headline speakers at the inaugural Women in Technology WA (WiTWA) 2019 Conference on Thursday, showcasing tech role models and companies.
“Lyndsey Scott is a great ambassador for STEM, particularly as a role model for young women wanting to pursue a career in programming or coding,” WiTWA Chair Pia Turcinov said.
Scott wants to emphasise that tech is going to become more important in an ever-changing world -- and women need to be part of the growth.
“If you’re into art or music, or like me, acting or modelling, there are ways that tech can make your career better because as time goes on the non-tech industries are going to use more technology.
“You can future-proof your career if you understand tech."