Quora product designer Rebekah Cox answers the question (on Quora, naturally).

Note, this is one person’s perspective. Nevertheless, her response is a really important read. For some time now, I’ve been studying how to increase the number of women in tech and as I see it, the hurdles are three: Culture. Education. Mentorship/Role Models.

Of the three, example after example shows culture is the hardest to overcome. Cox illuminates what tech culture is like — and offers valuable advice on how a woman can use perspective to her advantage.

It’s my hope that tech culture will evolve in a way that doesn’t require a hard shell to stay in and excel.

But until then, people who don’t feel like alpha nerds but want to be in tech can learn a lot from Rebekah Cox’s reply and footnotes. Read it and leap.