Working in a career field or at a company where only a few women work can seem intimidating to other young girls. While women take up 57% of total college degrees, only 18% are Computer Science and Information Technology degrees. Like many other things, being a woman in the tech industry necessitates the development of a solid support network. People sometimes wonder why girls do not take an interest in computer science when they hear numbers like these. In my opinion, we should be reconsidering what we’re telling females about what it takes to succeed in STEM fields. Let’s explore what it means to be a woman in tech for the next generation of young women.
- What Are STEM Fields? Why Do More Women Need To Choose a STEM Career?
- Why Must The World Invest More In Girls And Women?
Statistics On Men-Women Ratio In STEM Fields
In Fact, Even At Tech Companies, The Number Of Tech Roles Occupied By Men Are Higher Than Women.
According to data from the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women make up 47% of all employed people in the United States. However, they only hold 25% of computer jobs as of 2015. (NCWIT).
Despite national discussions about the lack of diversity in the computer industry, women remain disproportionately excluded from this growth.
Some Hard Facts About The Women In Tech
Are Men Better Than Women At Tech?
Not really. Are they naturally better at tech jobs? Not necessarily, no.
There are so many women dominating industries like music, business, and more, but you rarely hear about Boss Ladies in the tech industry. We’ve come a long way when it comes to men and women being able to do the same job or have equal opportunities, but we still seem to have a long way to go.
Many academics suggest that there are no substantial sex differences in general intelligence since the introduction of the g factor or general intelligence concept. Ability in specific forms of intelligence, on the other hand, appears to differ. The brain of the man and woman has been a debatable topic over the years. A few differences between them are:
So why are women underrepresented in the STEM sector and tech in particular? There are entirely a few real reasons that have kept women from living up to their potential.
Why Don’t More Females Consider a Career In Tech?
Why Don’t More Females Consider a Career In Tech?
1. Teasing In Early Years
In middle school, being a girl that was into computers and tech-related activities wasn’t exactly a quick way to make a lot of friends. As adolescents, many girls in the tech programs are referred to as weird or geeky, while the boys are encouraged and told they would be scientists one day.
It was a pretty distinctive memory of how different the tech program was in middle school compared to how it was by the time we were about to graduate high school. A lot of those girls gave up on the program to do more ‘girly’ things.
2. Mainstream Media Stereotypes
The gender stereotype in every industry is alarming, especially in mainstream media. Unfortunately, due to human bias, many women interested in technology are subject to stereotypes about getting ahead because of their sexuality or just not having a personality because they are into computers.
All the tech-savvy movies like Iron Man have been portraying men as the lead. Now it’s time to show more of wonder women.
Speaking to AlignThoughts, Kay Firth-Butterfield says the mainstream media and the big movies that we all see need to celebrate women scientists, and we need a female Tony Stark.
If a woman is intellectual, she is stereotyped as a show-off just because she isn’t afraid to embrace her knowledge.
It pushes a lot of women over the edge and makes them want to leave the industry.
3. Unfair Wages & The Gender Pay Gap
As far as we may have come with equality in the sexes, it is still pretty clear that women will get a starting salary less than a man, and the technology business is no different. Women are continually being mistreated financially and pretty much asked to deal with it or leave.
Some women will tough it out, but many know their worth won’t and might choose to move on to where people might appreciate them. Women in this field ask for and receive 98 percent of what males make doing the same thing within the first couple of years of working.
Raises and promotions are not equally given out between the two, which could be frustrating for anyone.
4. Being Discouraged
As I said before, being a smart chick into computers as a kid was not the route to the friendship train. However, in our culture, girls get very little encouragement from anyone to pursue this kind of career.
There were many computer science programs geared towards the boys when I was in school, but I don’t think I ever saw one to encourage girls who were into computers.
I am sure there were some, but there was no contest as to who got the most support between the two. This is probably one of the main reasons women don’t go into tech.
Girls aren’t encouraged by teachers, peers, or parents to believe that it’s something that they, as women, could be good at.
Those women who make it into the industry but question why they aren’t getting treated the same are told that they chose that life because they decided to do something that’s “not for women” to do as a career. Instead, they should have been hearing how unfair it actually is and that they deserve just as much as the man next to them with the same equal treatment.
5. Favoritism In The Workplace
When you are a woman surrounded by men in a tech building, you already feel as if you stick out. Nothing makes you feel more alienated than being the last person chosen to do everything just because you are a woman.
Women thrived in this business but were still last selected because somebody felt more capable of putting it into Bobby’s hands than Ashley’s. Not because he is better at the job than she is; in fact, they don’t even check a lot of times.
These are the types of attitudes that women have to deal with in the workplace, causing a lot to leave within their first little while working with a company.
The circumstances that a woman has to indulge when she wants to be in a tech career would be enough to drive anyone crazy. However, it is said that young budding tech minds aren’t given the tools and encouragement needed to grow from a young age.
Women are trained as girls to determine what careers are better suited for them. But, unfortunately, the lack of support as a child is a big part of why we don’t see women appropriately represented in the tech industry today.
Role Of Women In Technology
Even though women account for approximately half of the population, few women in the tech industry can influence consumer product design. The reason behind this is the fact that men are less likely to comprehend women’s demands when designing items for them.
As previously stated, having more females in information technology roles correlates to better organizational outcomes. Women in IT may see an increase in job opportunities, which might indicate that they are:
As technology [such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices] becomes more prevalent in American homes, customer support and where they choose to spend their money might significantly impact the success of some tech companies. In addition, gender equality in the tech industry can benefit consumers who identify as women while potentially boosting the economy.
Women In Tech Industry To Take Inspiration From
1. Ophelia Brown
She is the founder of Blossom Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm that aims to take a different approach to investing in Internet startups and enterprises by focusing on entrepreneurs. Her initial fund set records as Europe’s fastest-ever first-time fundraise from a female VC, and she was a part of Checkout.com’s own record-breaking Series A investment. She quickly followed up with another $185 million funds a year later.
3. Ada Lovelace
Ada was the daughter of Lord Byron and his wife, Anna Isabella-Byron, a romantic poet. Her aptitude for mathematics was evident early in life, and her skills and interest in machines led to a collaboration with Charles Babbage.
She was the creator of the “Analytical Engine,” a complex contraption that resembled the elements of a contemporary computer but was never built. Ada is sometimes referred to as the “world’s first computer programmer” due to her contributions to the project.
Alan Turing drew inspiration for his work on the first modern computer in the 1940s from Ada Lovelace’s notes on the Analytical Engine.
3. Radia Perlman
“Mother of the Internet,” as she is known. Radia’s discovery of the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) algorithm was critical in developing today’s internet. In addition, Radia’s work had a significant impact on how networks self-organize. How and why to move data and establish the basic rules of internet traffic. Radia has given keynote addresses worldwide and continues to work for Dell EMC as a computer programmer and engineer.
4. Amali de Alwis
Amali de Alwis is one of the few women who has done more in recent years to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in technology. De Alwis is presently the Managing Director of Microsoft for Startups in the UK, previously serving as the CEO of Code First: Girls, a program that has provided more than £5 million in free digital education to girls and women.
She was granted an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list in 2019 for services to diversity and training in the IT industry. She currently serves on the boards of Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, the Institute of Coding’s Diversity Board, and the Founders Academy.
She’s also a co-founder of the Digital Talent Charter, which aims to enhance diversity in the tech industry, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a judge for the Lord Mayor’s social impact-focused Dragon Awards, and a supporter of Tech London.
Technology And Gender
For years, we’ve been aware of the gender divide in the technology industry. The issue has gained traction in the mainstream media. The effort to inspire more women to pursue careers in STEM fields science, technology, engineering, and mathematics has resulted in numerous charity organizations dedicated to assisting women in STEM.
According to recent studies, even though women account for 47% of all employed individuals in the United States, women only hold 24% of technology jobs. Furthermore, women hold only 22% of tech positions at leading businesses like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft, where representation is considerably worse.
So, Why Aren’t There More Women In Tech?
In the tech industry, women are indeed underrepresented. Not only that, but they’re underpaid, frequently overlooked for promotions, and sometimes subjected to sexual harassment at work. It’s no surprise that women are more likely than men to abandon the industry within a year of starting.
In a recent survey, 73% of tech workers say their sector is sexist. With reports of sexism abounding in the industry, it’s evident that there’s a ‘brogrammer’ work culture problem that has to be addressed.
But, in addition to discrimination, stereotypes, and role models, the business makes it tough to combine a tech job with parenthood. According to a recent Fortune survey of 716 women who have left the IT industry, maternity leave policies were a big factor in their choice to leave. Employers who aren’t supportive of their female employees and don’t provide work flexibility are just going to dissuade more women from joining the industry.
Gender Gap In Technology
Our lives have become increasingly reliant on digital technology. Online experiences and opportunities are also critical for children’s and young people’s growth in various fields. It includes online education, informal and formal learning. It also allows them access to information and support related to health and well-being. Additionally, it contributes to engaging in their own creative and cultural practices, expressing their ideas and opinions, and leisure, play, and entertainment.
However, there remains a gender digital divide. Girls have a disadvantage in terms of having lower access to technology in comparison to boys. As a result, they often do not benefit from it in the same manner that boys do.
To address the needs of girls, companies must build digital products and services with and for them. Digital solutions, products, and content are frequently built for a “default” user, failing to address factors such as:
Despite their best efforts, teams frequently design for a largely male user base. Co-creation, design, and product testing are all areas where women are underrepresented.
A Word From AlignThoughts
Some studies reveal that many women show natural talent and enjoy computer science. But they feel that it isn’t something they could enjoy doing because it is supposedly a “man’s business.”
The world needs more women in the tech industry. Do you feel like this needs to change? What can we do? Do you know of any added reasons as to why women choose not to go into the tech industry? Comment below! We’d love to hear from you!
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Key Takeaways On Women In Tech
Why Aren’t There More Women In Tech?
How To Get More Women In Tech?
There are a few things all of us can do to ensure we have more women in tech. Some of them are: