Why more women are needed in the tech industry

Women Tech Industry

With each moment that passes the technology industry becomes bigger and more integral to the fabric of daily life; there’s not a sector that hasn’t benefitted from it. Most people rely on technology every time they require entertainment, or to answer a question. One aspect of the tech industry that many could do without, though, is its apparent gender bias, and while there are more women undertaking roles than in previous years, there is still a long way to go before quotas are fulfilled, and women feel as though they’re truly a part of the tech sector.

The issue of diversity in the tech industry

There’s little getting around it; the tech industry is still frequently considered a male dominated sector, perhaps not helped by the fact that less women today then 20 years ago are choosing to join the profession, and some 56% are choosing to leave the profession within ten years.
While it’s certainly true that there are still a great many women choosing, and gaining, high-powered positions ranking above their male counterparts, many consider their appointment to be too little, too late. So, what is it that’s putting women off from applying for positions within the tech industry? There are certainly more than enough women that are qualified to undertake such roles, after all. Perhaps the biggest factor discouraging women from applying for jobs within the technology industry is its male dominated image; gender stereotypes have an incredible power over young girls choosing to study certain subjects, and they’re often put off so-called male courses such as math, science, and engineering. In addition, many women already believe that the industry is a sexist one, with 52% claiming that they’re aware of the gender pay-gap, and 73% discouraged from working in a typically sexist environment. These statistics are staggering, but the stereotype needn’t exist at all.

Regardless of the reasons why women are put off working within the technology industry one thing is for sure; the tech sector is quickly becoming the world’s top industry, with numerous careers branching out from its humble beginnings. Diversity is, and should be, a major concern for the industry moving forward. Is it possible to attract more women to work with technology?

An asset to the industry: Attracting women to the tech sector

While women may not be at the fore of the technology sector there are some incredibly strong and talented females heading the field, and inspiring young women to follow their dreams regardless of the odds seemingly stacked against them. Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, for example, is an incredible role model for young girls hoping to break into formation technology and engineering, while the co-founder and chair of technology giant HTC is a woman, named Cher Wang. The truth is that women bring a whole range of assets to the technology industry, including the assurance of future talent, diversity and empowerment, and skills that may otherwise be overlooked. Technology impacts everybody, so surely it makes sense for women to hold the same power as men within the industry?

Much is being done to change the ways in which the technology sector operates, with improved education and training for employees, championed role models, the public challenging of negative stereotypes, and better mentoring opportunities being offered by a number of companies; this ensures that younger women, and school-aged girls, are encouraged into the industry from their youth, and inspired to do everything they can to achieve success. Indeed, there are a great many organizations currently raising concerns surrounding diversity in the tech industry, including Diversity Inc., which champions the rights of women and minority groups, as wel as celebrating their importance in a variety of sectors. CEO Luke Visconti is often quick to highlight industry failings and successness in his column, ‘Ask the White Guy’, while carefully unpicking arguments against the inclusion of certain groups in the workplace, and championing those inspirational few. Now is also the time to take note of the big companies pledging to make changes, including social media platform Pinterest, which very publically addressed its commitment to minorities, and pledged to increase its numbers of female and underrepresented employees during 2016. Such influence and dedication to change is difficult to ignore, but will it make any difference?

WHile much is being done to address the issue of gender-bias in the technology industry it is clear that there’s still a long way to go; women are still too easily discouraged from choosing ‘male dominated’ subjects that lead into such careers, and are under-supported in the roles they do manage to claim. Thanks to the influence of the women currently succeeding in the field, as well as organizations such as Diversity Inc., though, it is hoped that more women will pick up the mantle and make a name for themselves in the sector; their inclusion is long overdue, and most welcome.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Why more women are needed in the tech industry by Mattia Migliorini is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

deshack

Web Designer freelance, Ubuntu Member, Linux evangelist. Loves working on clear and minimal designs and wants to create beautiful things for different devices.

deshack wrote 82 posts

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Comments

  • Einjazaar

    I have a Question. Why cant They make their own Tech company to show them that women can compete so much as men?

  • Yardiff

    What puzzles me is why women are not boldly going out there and creating their own tech companies. In that situation there isn’t – can not be – any hint of prejudice against women when it comes to hiring. In fact, they can make absolutely certain that only women are hired, plus paying them more than the $0.70 on the dollar that they’re forced to accept in the current market.

    Think about it. An intelligent female MBA hires only females, pays them $0.90 on the dollar – and given women’s competence and skill, will completely eat the lunch of all male-based competitors. In fact, given women’s competence and skill and work-ethic, would probably still eat the lunch of all male-based competitors even when paying female staff $1.10 on the dollar for what men would manage to do.

    There would be no problems with finding work, either. Big business is extremely pragmatic: if the job is done exceptionally well, if it costs them much less in the long run because it’s been done properly from the beginning, they will happily pay for it. Especially if the job doesn’t cost any (or much) more than hiring a male-dominated competitor who simply isn’t as competent.

    I’m still patiently waiting for this to hit the news.

  • Mr Lo Tech

    When is the last time two women founded a computer company in their garage? Invented a search engine? Or, let’s face it, anything tech-related? Start your own companies, girls! Don’t wait for a couple of guys to build something from nothing over a decade or more, and then complain there’s no place for you on the board of directors!

  • EMS Solutions

    As the part of technology industry, women is fast upon developing every sector on tech society. The fact that women being needed is that they can easily inject the technology procedure in just a matter of time. Not just women but also in the act of being skilled men can also bring toward a good used on this industry.

  • Ben Champ

    As the great David Starkey said it best in the following video (although he was talking about female politicians here)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnW3MacQ0G4

    The reality is this, I am tired of people claiming that there needs to be more women in areas like technology where they get to sit in an air conditioned office all day. However there isn’t an equal number of claims for getting women into construction or bricklaying or road sweeping which men also dominate. I am all for equal and fair access to STEM subjects for women, but that has been the case for the last 100 or so years and they simply haven’t wanted to do it, no one has stopped them other than themselves. The ridiculousness of some people who then try and blame men for women’s lack of ambition is just amusing.

    And if we are going to obsess over careers which are dominated by men which apparently need some intervention, why are there not equal amounts of money going into initiatives to encourage more men to be teachers when the difference between men and women is more than double that of between STEM subjects between the genders. If we look at psychology we see again in this career path men are massively outnumbered by women. Where are the massive cries to have more men in that subject ? The same for careers like Nursing where men are massively under represented, yet we hear nothing, see nothing.

    So until I see the other side of the equation being played out I will not pay any attention to the lack of women in STEM subjects and that appears to be the opinion of everyone I have spoken to.

    • deshack

      Interesting point of view, thanks Ben.

  • nMaib0

    where’s the article about the fashion industry needing more men? only manginas like this nerd are capable of going full ret4rd in order to get some. God how I miss bullies.

    • deshack

      You can write it and link it here, if you’d like to share it with us 😉

  • Sean

    In all these “tech need more women” articles, I have yet to see a concise explanation as to “why”. How is the tech industry suffering in absence of diversification? What needs are going unmet because, presumably, white men are unable to deliver a product that satisfies it?

    If men are happy in the industry, and women are happy not being in the industry, then where is the problem?

    Let’s be clear here; I am not advocating for the exclusion of applicants or employees on the basis of their gender. Rather I don’t really understand why the industry is suffering due to the gender disparity.

    • deshack

      Hi Sean,
      Thanks a lot for expressing your point of view.
      Apart from the problems related to employers thinking that tech is not a sector for women, I think diversification always helps.

      The same that applies in other fields, applies also in tech. Just for example, development needs creativity. Creativity needs diversification. A different point of view (women and men have really different points of view, generally speaking) helps reaching the best results in less time. Just look at open source initiatives, where diversification is at the core.

      Finally, women are always welcome to tech meetings 😀 (just joking).

      • Sean

        I’m not sure how many employers think and hire with the presumption that tech isn’t for women ( or minorities ). Point of fact, having been a part of many hiring decisions in my time, I can tell you that everyone has an advantage over the white male, given the attraction of a “diverse” workforce.

        However, that’s neither here nor there. You mention creativity; I’m not sure I accept that. I have yet to meet a problem I couldn’t solve, quickly and efficiently. In fact, for most engineering solutions I think you’ll find the biggest loss of efficiency doesn’t come from the problem solving and solution development ( which is often a relatively quick process ), but rather from management and other non-tech related fields during finalization and implementation, and let me be clear; women are just as much a barrier in this regard as men.

        Finally, dude; women aren’t objects to be ogled at. I welcome *anyone* to tech meetings who is competent and has a high awareness that everyone’s time is valuable.

        • deshack

          We probably live in different cultural contexts, since here in Italy all the openness you’re talking about is absent. I’m not referring to everyone, as I never said women are better than men or that women need to find a tech job even if they don’t want to.
          At the same time, I think you misunderstood what I was saying: women aren’t better than men (and vice versa, and you can replace “women” and “men” with “white men” and “black man” or whatever), but different points of view inside the same team bring more value to the team itself.

          And.. I see you don’t like jokes. Please, don’t take the joke about the meetings seriously, it wasn’t.

      • Kosmic

        Women in tech’s slogan: “reaching the best results in less time”! Woo-hoo! LOL! You’re high-larious!

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