Women in Tech: Bridging the Gender Gap
Technology is transforming the world we live in, providing tools for entrepreneurship, revolutionizing the business sector, and providing access to life-enhancing data. Yet, it seems as though the world is struggling to empower women in the tech sector where the gender inequality is one of the highest.
The tech world is still a man’s world
In fact, one report published by McKinsey in 2016 showed that only 37% of the entry-level roles in tech companies were held by women. That number drops even further the higher up the business ladder you go, with women making up only 25% of senior management roles, and 15% of C-suite positions.
The World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap Report amplifies the need for more women to embrace tech, “Since STEM careers are projected to be some of the most sought-after in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
The need for skilled employees is more obvious than ever. However, the technology industry continues to restrict itself with a “boys club” image. We must add more women to the technology sector if we’re going to have a chance at filling the increasing roles available in science, engineering, and research.
The question is, how can we empower our women and girls?
3 Key Components to achieve gender equality
There are numerous issues that restrict the number of women in tech roles today. If we want to bridge the gender gap, then we need to begin by introducing girls to the benefits of technology at an early age. By creating a strategy that covers everything from education to entrepreneurship, we can help women in technology to embrace tech, and discover a new world of opportunities.
The gender gap in technology isn’t something that starts suddenly within the recruitment sphere. In education, girls don’t receive as much support as they need to discover the right roles. For instance, around 74% of young women express an interest in computer science and STEM fields at an early age. However, only 28% earn computer science degrees.
To address the pipeline problem, educators must first know how to communicate the benefits of a career in IT to their female students. Educators can highlight the diverse nature of the field, and how women in technology can work on everything from AI, to state of the art computer systems, with benefits like remote working.
Once the educational sector is primed to support more women in tech, the workplace must start to address the gender gap. There are plenty of ways that employers can do their part to help women embrace tech. From writing job descriptions that specifically appeal to women, to making sure that hiring managers interview a fair percentage of female candidates, it all starts with making a few simple recruitment changes.
Additionally, once women in technology are hired, it’s important to ensure that they’re treated with the same level of respect and dignity as their male counterparts. The quit rate for women in the high-tech industry is almost twice as high as it is for men. Perhaps part of the issue here is that women don’t get the support they deserve. Indeed, earnings for women under the age of 25 in the tech industry are 29% lower than they would be for their male counterparts.
Empowering women in tech isn’t just about helping them to find the right jobs in the existing recruitment market. One great way to reduce the gender gap, is to fill the start-up scene with women exploring their own ideas in the technology sector. While only 5% start-ups belong to a female entrepreneur, there are endless opportunities out there for women who want to add to the technology industry.
Not only does entrepreneurship give women the chance to embrace tech from a brand-new perspective, but the more women emerge as leaders and business owners in this sphere, the more they’ll inspire other women in tech too.
Helping Women Embrace Tech
The technology tide is beginning to change as organizations start to recognize the value of employing more women in the computer science fields. After all, a lack of women in tech isn’t just a problem for women, it’s also a problem for the world economy and the technology sector too.
Whether it’s using universal language in job descriptions that ensures women don’t lose their interest in technology roles, or giving more young girls STEM support, it’s obvious that something needs to be done.
A job in the technology sector doesn’t just bring a range of unique benefits to female workers – it also gives women in tech the chance to inspire future innovators too. Working in the technology sector is a win-win for today’s aspirational ladies.
It’s time to find solutions that empower women, and steer girls into a future of STEM in their education, and careers.