Despite decades of progress towards workplace equality, women remain woefully underrepresented in the world’s technology workforce. Just 23% of the people working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) roles worldwide are female, and women hold only 5% of leadership positions in the technology industry.
Despite years of experience getting involved in STEM, I still don’t understand why there is a lack of women in this industry. I realized there are many factors that influence the decisions a woman makes when choosing a career.
There are a few key factors to play:
- Not enough information on technology careers
- Not encouraged to look at tech careers as often as males
- Lack of role models for women within the sector
- Females think tech is too male-dominated (which is true)
I can confirm that female role models play a really important role. Only 22% of young people surveyed can name a famous female in tech.
“Letting college women and schoolgirls know that they have a future in these industries is a huge piece of this,” Kalinowski said in a statement. “More importantly, if girls seem hesitant to enter a STEM field, it’s imperative they receive positive mentoring.”
There is no question we are in the minority in the tech industry, from the general workforce up through management and leadership roles. However, at this pace, it could take more than 10 more years for women to gain equal representation in tech.
And it is not all, as a part of the industry, I have to accept that it’s a reality the gender disparity in pay among tech workers. Just to mention it.
In 2017 and 2018, companies found that men were offered higher salaries than women 63% of the time. In 2019, the gap narrowed a bit to 60%, but returned to 63% in 2020.
All is not lost, as passionate about my career I am pretty sure that this gender gap could be reduced if and only if we are aware of the problem and work as a team. Some action items that I could mention are:
- Keep mentoring the new generation.
- Keep skills relevant and up to date.
- Be proactive
My Strong Feelings:
It’s not just about integrating women into the industry, it’s about also encouraging and empower the women who are already there, to turn them into future role models.