Career Advice

Pinkification and Women in Tech


  1. The act or process of being made pink or being saturated with pink.

Pinkification was not a term I knew before today, but damn, I really wished I knew it when I was arguing female stereotypes in college. It’s the perfect descriptor for that force-fed image of young girls loving anything pink and fluffy! Luckily, pink has been reclaimed in recent years, but there’s still stigma. Don’t substitute “pinkification” for “pink” though, because it isn’t about the colour pink itself. It’s about the cultural pattern of offering children a super strong stereotypical version of gender.

Women in technology have been hit hard by pinkification due to the lack of stereotypically feminine associations. Pinkification teaches children stereotypes that limit the way they perceive themselves and others, as well as excludes and stigmatises children who do not identify with gender stereotypes. The lack of feminine connotations with technology has previously resulted in the shaming of women with an interest in the industry.

Pinkification Works Both Ways

The thing with pinkification is that it both forces girls into a love/hate relationship with the colour. If you genuinely like pink, then you feel ashamed for it, so act like you don’t, so you’re special, and not like other girls, but you are – and it becomes this big jumbled circle of hate!

Ultimately, my concern is the masculine stereotype across tech. Whether portrayed by men or women, it is putting young girls off the industry. You can be a woman, love pink and be the best hacker in the world if you want to. We don’t make that very clear though.

It’s more than simply reclaiming pink, but to save pink from the old school perception it has no place in the corporate world. That’s the mission of Cocktails and Code.

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