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October 19, 2022 - 3 minutes

Ironhack Launches a New UX/UI Short Course!

Get to grips with UX/UI Design and build your confidence with User Experience

Ironhack - Changing The Future of Tech Education

Ready to see where a career in UX/UI design can take you? The tech world is always on the move and if you have the right skills, the possibilities are endless. These days it’s not about who you know, but what you know. So how do you get started on the path to becoming a UX/UI designer? That’s where Ironhack’s new UX/UI Short course comes in. It gives students an inside view into what it takes to work in the tech world, consider it a sneak peek, and it’s absolutely free. 

What’s In The Course?

The UX/UI Short course features a text-based scenario game that puts you in the shoes of a Junior UX/UI Designer working for a startup. Every step of the way you’ll learn the basics of UX/UI Design while developing the skills needed to work as a UX/UI Designer. The video instructions and core concepts you encounter throughout the game will guide you through the process of app creation step by step while emphasizing how each element of UX/UI Design is essential to the app development process.

At the end of the course, you will know and understand core concepts such as Design Thinking, User research (with an emphasis on Survey and user interviews), identifying Problem Statements, Wireframes, Prototypes, and Usability Testing. The course will also leave you with a much better understanding of Ironhack, as well as the ability to define and list the stages of design thinking that create UX/UI context, know the keywords relative to each stage of the design process, and have the confidence to tackle a full Ironhack course on UX/UI design head-on.

Who Should Take It?

This course has something for everyone. Seriously, anyone can take it -  basic beginners searching for a quick intro to UX/UI design, graphic designers or visual artists looking to dip their toes in the tech pool, or anyone who feels like shaking things up career-wise. If you’re thinking of a career change and are new to the tech world, this course is just what you need to get started. Ironhack will teach you the basics, give you insight into the field of UX/UI Design, and give you the tools to build an app from the ground up. 

Ready to dive in? Check out Ironhack's new UX/UI Design course here!

At Ironhack, we specialize in working with students from diverse backgrounds, so previous knowledge of UX/UI design is always great but it’s not necessary to take this course. Neither is a university degree or any other specific education. If you have an eye for design, a passion for creativity, a knack for problem-solving, and a burning curiosity about the tech field this course is right up your alley. UX/UI is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the world of technology. If you’re ready for a change, now is the time to learn the skills that will help you climb the ladder toward a new career. With Ironhack in your corner, you have nothing to lose and the world to gain. 

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As you know, companies use websites to showcase their services and goods using online stores, blogs, and more. For this purpose, web developers create websites with an interactive user interface to allow easy navigation as potential customers browse their pages. Like graphic designers, this job requires some level of creativity to stand apart from the competition and to find innovative solutions to problems. Work as an animation expert Animation experts are creative professionals who use art to create vivid images. Based on their talent in art and design, digital animators will maximize the use of multiple computer softwares to design animations for businesses, including television, film, and even video consoles. They can also partner with private companies or offer freelance services to video producers. Animators require creativity and artistic vision to excel in their jobs. 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Work as a brand manager Another job you can consider in the tech field is working as a brand manager. Their primary role is to maintain the public image of different businesses and companies as they seek to promote their products and services. On a typical workday, brand managers monitor the market trends and analyze competitors' positions to create impactful campaigns. Work as a market analyst Marketing analysts support businesses to determine marketing decisions, including what to sell, which customers to target, and the different prices of products or services. In addition, they create multiple customer surveys and questionnaires; these initiatives help analyze the current market trends, which is essential when creating marketing campaigns or strategies. Work as a UX designer As a UX designer (user experience), you can use your UX/UI design skills to create user-friendly products for your target audience. For instance, if an organization wants to create a mobile app, a UX designer can help analyze the benefits of the specific product and how customers can access the solution with ease. Due to the dynamic setting in tech jobs, you can have a platform to express your skills in a competitive market, no matter what your skills are! For an individual who has a knack for innovative ideas, a career in any of the mentioned fields can broaden your technical know-how in the long run. Don't limit yourself! Attention to detail and a willingness to learn are coveted skills in the tech world. Don’t be afraid and start researching which role seems like the best fit for you and apply! And if you are looking to take on a more traditional role in tech, our bootcamps are the right place for you. Check them out below–we can’t wait to see your application!

  • 5 minutes

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    Juliette Erath - 2023-06-17


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Some key job responsibilities of a tech lead include: Establishing project specifications and technical direction Creating a framework of technical standards and procedures Overseeing software quality and system modifications Guiding team members with troubleshooting technical issues Analyzing existing operations to identify risks and redundancies Conducting comprehensive assessments to develop solutions In other words, as a tech lead, you’re basically setting the technical direction of the project and clearing the way of any programming hurdles that may arise, whether it be closing technical knowledge gaps, finding answers to product questions, or streamlining existing operations. As a tech lead, you'll engineer, guide, and implement technical solutions and improvements with the help of your software development team. You can get your hands dirty and do some coding once in a while, but that isn’t your main job responsibility. So, if you’re someone who enjoys both the technical and interpersonal aspects of software development, a tech lead may be the job for you. With Whom do Tech Leads Work? Together with team leads and product owners, tech leads play a leadership role in a software or engineering department; each leader focuses on a different aspect of the production process. A product owner will focus on overall product development and a team lead will focus on people development; a tech lead focuses on technical development. Together, they set the project’s direction and guide the team members to ensure the project’s deliverables are fulfilled. Some essential members of the software development team include: Product Owner : leads product development to fulfill client’s requirements Team Lead/ Engineering Manager: guides team through development process Project Manager: oversees the development, organization, and delivery of a product Software Developer : designs and develops software to fit the users’ needs Quality Assurance Engineer: confirms developed solution fits specifications Software Tester: executes tests to ensure solutions fit performance and security demands UX/UI Designer: designs features to enhance customer experience and interaction A software team works together to ensure the smooth delivery of a product;as a tech lead, you must be able to balance priorities, communicate clear goals, and make apt decisions , all while taking into account your team’s capabilities and the product’s deliverables. Since each position on the team has some involvement in the technical operation, you must make sure that each team member has a handle on their portion of the software development process to ensure the delivered product meets the client’s expectations. What Skills Do Tech Leads Need? A tech lead can be considered a leader, developer, and architect all in one, which defines their essential skill set: As a leader , they supervise team members, delegate tasks, issue feedback, evaluate risks, and resolve conflicts. As a developer , they apply programming tools, utilize design patterns, perform automated testing, and refactor code. As an architect , they perform technical assessments, oversee development lifecycles, direct release management, and adhere to federal regulations. As you can see, tech leads must not only have the technical expertise to develop products, but have the people skills to lead teams as well. Some crucial skills of a tech lead include: Communication and leadership Project and crisis management Software architecture and systems testing Technical guidance and decision-making skills Quality assurance Problem solving and innovation Ownership and vision How Can I Become a Tech Lead? You can develop these skills by gaining professional experience along with taking technical and leadership courses. A tech lead isn’t an entry level role; starting off, tech leads often have 5+ years of experience in the field and a bachelor’s degree. But remember, a tech lead also isn’t just a senior software engineer: just focusing on programming knowledge is not going to get you there, you need to build interpersonal skills as well. So, how can you do that? Well: You can apply some professional approaches , such as supporting coworkers, providing technical advice, suggesting new initiatives, creating innovative solutions, and requesting performance-based feedback, to show your resourcefulness while developing new skills. You can use some administrative tools , such as a strengths and weaknesses chart, a professional development plan, and a goal breakdown, to guide your learning and development while focusing on the professional skills you need to reinforce. With a proper plan of attack, you can be well on your way to becoming a tech lead. As you know, the job title has the term “lead” in it, which means it’s considered a senior role – but still a great target position. Since tech leads are considered to be both technical experts and competent supervisors, you’ll need a decent amount of experience first. Our Web Development Bootcamp is a great first step that you can take to establish the essential hard and soft skills needed to form a strong foundation in web development that you can build on with professional experience. Web development has boundless possibilities, with a tech lead being one of them. We can’t wait to see where you go next!

  • 8 minutes

    Learning to Code Online 

    Ironhack - 2023-07-17

    Web Development

    These days it seems like you can do anything online, right? From online shopping to doctors appointments, we can take workout classes from our homes and have our groceries delivered to our door. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, another online option quickly became quite crucial: online learning. Imagine being able to attend university or, better yet, take a quick online course from your sofa or bed? While online courses did exist before the pandemic, they weren’t a widely accepted option and lots of people doubted their effectiveness. After all, how can you guarantee that online courses provide the same education as in-person classes? Or replace the human interaction of working with classmates? The world was forced to quickly come to terms with online learning in March of 2020 and since then, we’ve been able to revolutionize remote learning , making taking online courses accessible for even more people. Today, you can take courses in practically anything–the sky (or the cloud?!) is your limit. Remote courses also boast the following benefits: Increased flexibility : are you interested in learning a new skill but can’t afford to give up your current job? Or have other duties, such as caring for an elderly family member or children? What about if you’re only free at night? Remote courses make learning more accessible, thanks to their flexibility. If you choose to take an asynchronous course (read about that below!), you’ll have even more flexibility. Reduced overall costs: the cost of attending a bootcamp online might be just slightly cheaper than an in-person option, or maybe the same price, but you’ll save valuable time and money from not having to commute. And if you are choosing to take the course remotely because of other commitments, such as childcare or work responsibilities, you may save money there as well by not having to give those up. Expanded options : maybe your dream course isn’t available anywhere near you, meaning you’re unable to take it. Online courses open up your options, permitting you to take courses from anywhere in the world (keeping time zones and language in mind, of course!). And if your chosen bootcamp is nearby but has a schedule that doesn’t match your availability, you can make it work remotely. Accelerated preparation for the real world : lots of today’s jobs are either hybrid or entirely remote: do you have what it takes to be totally autonomous and work well from your home? By taking an online course, you can prepare yourself for working remotely, ensuring you’re prepared to enter the remote workforce. Enhanced accessibility : people can be deterred from taking in-person courses for a variety of reasons: social anxiety, learning disabilities, physical limitations, and much more. Remote courses make these bootcamps accessible for everyone. Improved access : did you space out during a class and need to revisit a lecture? Or are you looking to look at the assignment you submitted last week? Because online courses use tools to conduct the class online, you have all materials and lectures in one place. Now that you know why remote bootcamps are gaining traction across the world, let’s define them a bit more. Online bootcamps come in two forms: Synchronous : synchronous bootcamps, or live bootcamps, are conducted as if you were in the classroom, with a firm schedule and requirements to be online at certain times. For those who can’t attend an in-person bootcamp but still desire structure, this is the best choice. Keep in mind, however, that online bootcamps are offered all around the world and find one within (or close to) your own time zone. Asynchronous : for those looking for even more flexibility, asynchronous bootcamps don’t require you to be online at specific times, allowing you to watch recorded lectures and classes on your own time. While this makes the bootcamp more accessible for those with tough or inconsistent schedules, it demands a certain type of accountability and motivation to ensure you get the work completed on your own. One of the most popular online courses is coding , due to the high demand for tech professionals in practically every market. With a clear understanding of why online bootcamps are a great option, let’s head into remote coding bootcamps. Learning to Code Online Coding bootcamps offer students the chance to learn the basics of web development in just a few weeks from the comfort of their own home. And as coding skills become widely demanded across a wide range of industries, not just tech, there’s never been a better way to invest in your future. Learning to code can: Increase your future job opportunities : as we mentioned above, coding is needed in so many industries and the number of available positions is only expected to increase. No matter what your preferred industry is, you’ll be able to find a sector that fits with your skills and your passions. Increase your earning potential: you’ve heard that tech jobs pay well and there’s a reason for that: they do. Salaries for tech professionals soar above those of non-tech roles; tech roles usually have room for growth as well, meaning you can increase your earnings in the future as well. Offer flexibility : lots of tech jobs are remote and taking on a coding job can mean you’re able to make your own hours or simply work from the comfort of your own home. This can benefit your overall well-being, but also save you commuting time or allow you to spend more time with your loved ones. But coding’s flexibility isn’t limited to just your schedule; it also allows for career movement, permitting you to move from sector to sector or even try new programming languages or skills. Improve your critical thinking skills : learning to code isn’t just choosing a programming language and setting up a website’s design. It consists of lots of little problems that each require a different solution and thought process. Learning how to handle these kinds of problems will help you in all areas of your life, not just coding. Spark your creativity : tech is advancing rapidly and you won’t just learn to code once! Because there’s always a new tool or update to review, you’ll be constantly challenged throughout your career. And in your free time, you’ll be able to explore new things, keeping your creative juices flowing. Is learning to code online actually worth it? We get it–it can be hard to understand how learning online can be the same as learning in a classroom. But thanks to recent advances in technology, learning online is incredibly similar to traditional classroom instruction; you can still interact with classmates, chat with them, and even do a virtual happy hour after class. Just like with anything, you have to determine if online learning is right for you. There’s no instructor in front of you, telling you exactly what you need to do and making sure you stay focused. And tasks must be completed on your own, demanding a certain sense of independence and time management. Here’s the key: as long as you’re confident in your ability to take the course seriously and complete your assignments, online coding courses are a fantastic option. But how do you actually go about it? Luckily for you, there are a few different ways. How to learn to code online Now that you’ve decided to make that jump into learning to code online, it’s time to decide exactly how you want to do it. Let’s break down a few of the options: Online videos You can learn practically anything on YouTube and coding is no exception. Depending on your previous knowledge of coding, this can be a great place to start, especially for more visual learners. Lots of online content creators have uploaded videos that cover the basics of coding or tackle more specific problems that you may face; a simple Google search can lead you to where you need to be. Chatrooms Web developers make up a large community online where they go to trade ideas, troubleshoot, and learn from each other. This is an option for more experienced coders who are either looking for very specific assistance or want to get some new ideas for a problem they’re facing. From GitHub to Reddit, almost every web developer uses online communities or chatrooms in their work. Short courses If you already have a background in tech or web development, or maybe even coding, and are just looking to hone one particular skill or take on a new programming language, short, topic-specific courses are a fantastic option for you. Some are free and some require payment; review exactly what these courses offer and see if they fit into your goals. Bootcamps We’ve arrived at our preferred method for learning to code online: bootcamps . The aforementioned ways to learn online are certainly great options, but not as thorough or helpful as a full bootcamp. Bootcamps are intensive and relatively short (think a few weeks or months) courses that focus on one topic in particular, providing you with personalized and detailed instruction. Well-designed bootcamps usually offer additional services, such as career or financing assistance. Learning to Code Online with Ironhack At Ironhack, we recognize the importance of flexibility when it comes to bootcamp learning and that’s exactly why we offer remote (and in-person!) options for our web development, UX/UI design, data analytics, and cybersecurity courses, in addition to: Full and part-time options to ensure that you can either maintain your current responsibilities/job or dedicate your full attention to the bootcamp. Career Services that last beyond your time at Ironhack; we help you polish your interview skills during your bootcamp, but also continue our support throughout your first year as an alum. Financing options to make our bootcamps accessible to all; check out our income share agreements or payment plans. Sounds good, right?! We’re fully committed to ensuring our remote students receive a high-quality education and graduate ready to enter the job market. If you’re ready to become a coding expert and land your dream job in tech, Ironhack is the right place to start. We can’t wait to see you in our (online!) classrooms!

  • 5 minutes

    ChatGPT: What's with All the Noise? 

    Ironhack - 2023-02-02


    Samantha . This is the name of the artificial intelligence that Joaquin Phoenix’s character falls in love with in the movie “Her”. He does precisely that because of his own solitude, but also because the software has been configured to be frighteningly human. Doesn't that sound familiar? Just 10 years after the release of this very intriguing anticipation movie, Chat GPT showed up. OpenAI, a San Francisco-based AI company also responsible for tools like GPT-3 and DALL-E 2, the breakthrough image generator that we talked about in our AI creativity post , has created this clever artificial intelligence program. It has the answer to absolutely everything and it has been configured and trained to interact in the most human way possible . It works so well that you would think you had a friend or relative at the end of the keyboard, except it’s a robot that has a sense of humor. How was Chat GPT configured? What is it already able to do? How will it change the way we work? Here’s a portrait of an AI like no other. Birth of a Humanoid AI Leonardo da Vinci would have dreamed of it; San Francisco entrepreneurs have done it. They configured an artificial intelligence program capable of answering any question in a qualitative way in just a few seconds. ChatGPT, which stands for Generative Pretrained Transformer,” is the best AI chatbot ever released to the general public. Feel like reading a set of 50 Haikus about the Sequoia National Park? Let's go. Want the software to invent the rules of a new board game? No problem. Fix a complex code bug? Sure. Write your best man’s speech for your friend's wedding? Believe it or not, it can do that too. To successfully adapt to any situation, Chat GPT has scanned, absorbed, and analyzed hundreds of millions of texts. That is to say, it has processed almost every word published on the Internet from its creation to 2021. Did you think Wikipedia represented an infinite volume of data? It's only 0.6% of the database known by this AI. In just 5 days after its release, more than a million people tried to query Chat GPT. Today, this AI is imposing itself at a lightning speed at work. To name just a few examples, it can write marketing texts, create code, write a sales pitch, help you negotiate a salary increase or even coach you to settle a conflict with a colleague. For Alexis Grinbaum, Research Director, this software will find its place in the working world and change its uses. " Entire sectors of the workforce will evolve but not disappear”, he states. “There will always be lawyers and doctors and journalists, but the content of their jobs will change.” This means that Chat GPT is already shaking up the professional world. Surprising Uses of Chat GPT One Twitter user asked Chat GPT to " write a biblical verse in the style of the King James Bible explaining how to remove a peanut butter sandwich from a VCR” . But that's not all! It can also: Write jokes: Tell me the difference between a balloon and an elephant. “The difference between a balloon and an elephant is that you can inflate a balloon, but you can’t inflate an elephant just like that!" Write 4 lines of the Hotel California song in the style of Shakespeare: “In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, Upon a balmy eve, in days of yore, The Eagles sang a tale, most tragic and mean, Of a hotel, called California, forever more." Solve the mystery: who came first? The chicken of the egg? “ The egg came first, it was just too chicken to admit it." Imagine and describe a world with Elon Musk as our leader. “If Elon Musk was the leader, the world would be a very interesting place! We'd all be living on Mars by now and probably have jetpacks for personal transportation. Traffic jams would be a thing of the past because we'd all be zooming around in our Teslas. And forget about power outages, we'd have solar panels on every roof! The only downside is that we'd all be working 120 hour weeks to pay for it all. But hey, at least we'd be saving the planet and colonizing Mars, so it's totally worth it, right?" Surprising? It can also: Find ideas for party themes or costumes Write an essay Ask for compliments Write a resignation letter Get relationship advice Get advice on how to pitch ecology to your climatosceptic uncle Jamie and so much more. How Far Will Chat GPT Go? A series of articles would not be enough to list all the implications that GPT Chat could have on our society. This tool is already being described by some as a more powerful technology than Google. But will it flop or rock: who knows? However, we’re sure that we will have to regulate the use of this very intelligent and fast learning AI quickly. In the United States, Chat GPT is already banned from schools and colleges, where professors have watched in amazement how the robot writes essays. This, in addition to the ethical problem that it poses if some students no longer do the work but are graded like the others, can have serious consequences on the intellectual capacities of those who instead of training to think, ask the AI to do it for them. What about the law, where AI could be used by lawyers in trials, even though we don't know where and how it gets its information and law professors have noted that it makes mistakes? Or art, which, if generated by robots, will probably lose its standardization value? Can GPT chat eventually replace content creators, translators or web developers? According to PwC , 73% of workers think technology can never replace a human mind; however, 37% are worried that automation might put their job at risk. In any case, we can think about what will happen if, just as today, Chat GPT’s server is down and inaccessible while this tool is being used by millions of people at work. It's all going to be fascinating: let's get some popcorn and while we're watching it happen, think about what you can do to transform tech with Ironhack.

  • 26 minutes

    The Gender Gap in Tech…Let’s Talk About It

    Juliette Erath - 2023-03-09

    All Courses

    You’ll often see us talking about how great the tech industry is ( naturally ), and we truly believe it is. It’s a place where we see all kinds of people build the careers of their dreams, no matter their background, socio-economic status, demographic, or even personality type. However, we would be remiss to discuss the state of the tech industry and not include the prevalent problem of the workforce gender gap. Apart from the obvious social implications of an incredibly male-dominated field, it also affects overall political, economic, and cultural behaviors. The simple truth is that the workplace and skill gap in the tech industry can largely be attributed to the wide gender disparity ; to meet this both international and growing gap, a serious effort needs to be made to understand the origin of this problem and solve it. We see efforts made in this arena every day from all corners of our community across the US, Europe, and South America. But there’s no sense in combating a problem that we don’t truly understand. So we wanted to look into the current state of the gender gap in tech, trace the root of the problem, and look towards future solutions. Sexism and Gender Discrimination The tech industry is not unique in facing diversity challenges: far from it. Sexism and gender discrimination are, unfortunately, tales as old as time. Sexism is a complicated concept but one that includes the belief that one sex or gender is superior to another. Gender discrimination, on the other hand, is when someone is discriminated against because of their gender identity. Historically linked to favoring men, this kind of discrimination can have drastic effects. Societies are heavily influenced by gender expectations and can alter career choices, workplace options, how we dress, how we should act, what we should study, and much more. One of the clearest examples of the effects of gender-based societal expectations is the workplace. Both men and women are heavily influenced in their career choices by what they’re taught society expects . 97.78% of nurses and nursing assistants, 95.65% of legal secretaries, 89.09% of dancers and choreographers, and 88.45% of receptionists are women. On the other hand, 99.19% of vehicle technicians, 98.97% of carpenters and joiners, 96.4% of electrical and electronic technicians, and 95.38% of telecoms engineers are men. But these huge discrepancies in certain jobs aren’t the only thing to keep in mind. Globally, there’s a gender pay gap of 20% , meaning that women make, on average, 20% less than what men make. This is of course exacerbated by the actual roles that men and women hold: if high-level and higher-paying jobs are dominated by men, it’s natural that they’ll make more money. Unfortunately, however, that’s not the only reason: Like we mentioned above, women tend to work in sectors that pay less than male-dominated industries. Leadership roles tend to be held by men. Men get promoted more often. In every single country worldwide, women make less than men for the same work. Women face incredible pressure when getting pregnant or choosing to stay at home with their children. Women take on a lot of unpaid roles, such as childcare or caring for a sick relative. The differences between men and women are due to centuries of patriarchal beliefs that have put men in a position of power over women. In most parts of the world today, the gap between men and women has closed considerably; men used to have complete control over women opening bank accounts, driving, how they dressed, healthcare access, education access, or voting rights. Even though most of us can’t remember a case of the aforementioned examples of gender discrimination in our own lives, there are still major issues with gender equality in today’s society. And it affects everyone; only 50% of women in the world are in the workforce, compared to 80% of men. Gender Inequalities To measure the gender gap by country, the annual Global Gender Gap Index by the World Economic Forum uses four main categories to determine a country’s level of gender inequality: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Countries received a ranking from 0 - 100 in each section; 100% means gender parity has been fully achieved. Economic participation and opportunity In this section, five factors are evaluated: labor-force participation rate, wage equality for similar work, estimated earned income, legislators, senior officials, and managers, and professional and technical workers. The report showed that on average, higher-income economies scored 69%, upper-middle-income economies scored 68%, low-middle-economies scored 63%, and low-income economies scored 66%. Gender equality is linked to economic opportunities and those with higher-performing economies score slightly better. Educational attainment This section defined the literacy rate and enrollment in primary, secondary, and higher education. Here, 29 countries were able to boast full gender parity across three different economic levels. Worldwide rates range from 48% to 100% and as the report gets to the lower-ranking countries, the gaps get even bigger. Health and survival This index used the sex ratio at birth and healthy life expectancy to produce the section with the least variation and smallest gender gap . No one country has reached parity, but 141 have closed the gender gap by at least 95%; Qatar, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, China, and India are the only countries with gender gaps bigger than 5%. Political empowerment Women in parliament and ministerial positions and years with female heads of state (in the last 50 years) are evaluated to define the gender gap as it relates to political empowerment. This is the section that has the largest gap with an overall global percentage of 22% ; the range here is also massive with the lowest country, Vanuatu, scoring 0% and Iceland scoring at 87%. Only 11 countries worldwide have closed more than 50% of their gender gap: Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Rwanda, Germany, Bangladesh, Sweden, Ireland, and South Africa. Only 39% of countries are above the global average, meaning more than 60% are below it. The United Nation’s Path to Gender Equality The United Nations has established sustainable development goals to be achieved by 2030 and gender equality is the fifth. Made up of nine steps, these are the UN’s priorities when it comes to achieving gender equality: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere. Eliminate all forms of violence against girls and women everywhere, including trafficking and exploitation. Eliminate all harmful gender-based practices, like early or forced marriages and female genital mutilation. Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through public services and public protection policies that promote shared parental responsibility. Ensure the full and effective participation and equal leadership opportunities for women in all levels in political, economic, and public life. Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health education and rights. Undertake reforms to provide women with equal rights to economic resources and access to ownership and control over land, financial services, and inheritances and natural resources. Use technology to promote female empowerment. Adopt and strengthen policies and legislations to enforce gender equality protection for all women and girls. The Gender Gap in Tech Gender-based digital exclusion has serious effects on society and the tech industry itself. “Hurdles to access, affordability, (lack of) education and skills and technological literacy, and inherent gender biases and socio- cultural norms, are at the root of gender-based digital exclusion. Enhanced, safer and more affordable access to digital tools is critical, as are policy interventions addressing long-term structural biases.” The first matter regarding gender equality is its ethical and just implications. A more equal world, however, could bring about benefits in lots of areas, especially global economics; research shows that a smaller gender gap improves global GDP, increases productivity, and promotes innovation . Need more convincing? Empowered women have been shown to: Increase consumer spending Improve decision-making processes Encourage more inclusive societies Increase sustainability efforts The IMF reports: “We know that in countries with greater gender inequality just closing the gap in women’s labor force participation could increase economic output by an average of 35 percent [...] In Norway, the expansion of universal child care increased the likelihood of mothers’ employment by 32 percentage points.” The World Bank’s Gender Employment Gap Index (GEGI) reports that if the gender gap were closed and men and women had equal access to paid employment, GDP per capita could increase by almost 20% . But in tech specifically, the gender gap is quite wide in four areas: internet use and access, digital skills and tools, STEM participation, and tech sector leadership and entrepreneurship. The gender gap and internet usage Internet usage is key to providing women with more opportunities, in tech and other areas. Europe and the American continents have the highest rates of internet usage and have reached gender parity or are very close to it; however, almost half the world’s population doesn’t have internet access. The majority of this group is made up of women in underdeveloped nations. Universal internet access is one of the UN’s SDGs and is absolutely essential to closing the gap. Worldwide access could provide women with educational options, widened healthcare, and more opportunities. The gender gap and digital skills Digital skills aren’t required for just tech jobs; everyone needs digital skills to fully participate in society and access financial services, educational opportunities, healthcare services, and more. But the gender gap could be shrunk even further if women had the same advanced digital skills to meet the gaps in the tech market. As the Digital SME Alliance reports: “Gender inequalities are most pronounced in disruptive tech skills, which are strongly requested in emerging sectors like AI, robotics and cloud computing. According to the World Economic Forum, women make up only 26% of AI jobs globally. The situation is even more dire in cloud and data, where the numbers are 15% and 12% respectively.” The digital economy is advancing rapidly and tech professionals are needed in practically every industry. Ensuring digital skill access will help achieve gender parity and improve the global economy. The gender gap and STEM participation Globally speaking, women have almost reached parity in their studies: undergraduate education (45%-55%), graduate education (53%), and PhD studies (43%). However, they only make up 35% of STEM students . This is problematic for two main reasons: one, STEM fields are rapidly gaining importance and if women aren’t studying them, they won’t be able to access jobs in those industries. Second, STEM jobs are some of the best-paid positions worldwide and if women don’t have access to those because they lack the necessary education or skills, the gender pay gap will only increase. We can equate the lack of women in STEM to these three causes: a lack of self-confidence, stereotypes of tech workers, and a male-dominated culture . These 2020 statistics help highlight the severity of this gap: Women made up just 16% of bachelor degree recipients in computer and information services, 21% in engineering, 27% in economics, and 38% in physical sciences. Women hold less than 20% of tech leadership roles. Only 19% of senior vice presidents and 15% of CEOs are women. 39% of women in tech see gender bias as a hindrance to getting a promotion. 34% of Apple’s employees are female but only 24% of their technical roles are held by women. During the COVID-19 pandemic, women were nearly twice as likely to either leave their jobs, be furloughed, or be fired. The gender gap and tech leadership and entrepreneurship As we already discussed obstacles that women entering the tech field face, this section will center on the problems that those already in the industry see, especially when up for promotion. Frequently, women face problems that men don’t even consider, such as taking on caregiving responsibilities, lacking role models and other women in similar roles, and greater pressure to prove their skills. Even though women make up 40% of global early-stage entrepreneurs , men still tend to start more businesses than women. Surveying entrepreneurs helped us learn that women are more likely to start a business due to making a difference or job scarcity while men do it to build wealth or continue a family tradition. In tech startups, only 2.7% women are involved, compared to 4.7% of men. The Gender Gap by Country Global statistics can help us get an idea of the overall gender gap in tech, but it’s essential to look at country-by-country data to get a more accurate picture of each market, its areas of improvement, and specific things to do to reach gender parity. The United Kingdom Five million people work in the tech industry in the UK but only 17% of those roles are held by women. When looking at the UK’s entire workforce, however, women make up 49% of all workers. This difference between the number of employed women and women employed in tech is precisely what we call the gender gap . This issue starts before women even enter the workforce - just 35% of higher education STEM students in the UK are women. Looking at this issue, we can separate three causes: Girls are less likely to choose to study STEM . This comes down to a few reasons: in such a man-heavy industry, girls don’t see role models or a place for themselves. Teachers are also ill-prepared to show girls the possibilities of tech roles and therefore aren’t even encouraged to promote girls in STEM. 33% of men had a technology career suggested to them and just 16% of women can say the same. Girls aren’t considering a tech career. Girls are more likely than boys to consider their future career when choosing their A-levels and when they don’t see a tech career as a possibility, they don’t take STEM courses. There’s a lack of female role models . Representation is absolutely essential; girls who don’t see female leaders in tech and instead see a vast majority of men won’t feel like a tech career is for them. And these numbers directly correlate to salaries. According to the UK Tech Workplace Equality Report , the average salary for male tech workers is £ 66,000 and £ 63,000 for women. To combat this gap and encourage more women to join the tech industry, some British companies have hired empowerment mentors to help women gain confidence when applying for jobs, ask for the right salary, speak up about harassment or other issues, and start new jobs. However, this isn’t a personal decision that women are making; it’s a systemic societal issue and for this to be fixed, a proactive approach by society as a whole is required. The United States The US tech market employs just 26% women , despite a nearly equal divide in the total workforce (49%). And despite the fact that 45% of STEM majors were women in 2020, only 22% and 20% graduated with a degree in engineering and computer science, respectively. Two years of collected data can help us determine where this problem originates: There are few female role models . Since the tech industry is largely run and made up of men, girls don’t see themselves as future tech workers. Stereotypes are prevalent in tech . Lots of girls are steered away from tech due to stereotypes and ideas that tech is a career for men and they should choose “feminine” paths. 44% of women surveyed between 18 and 28 years old were never given information or resources about getting into tech; just 33% of men said the same. The STEM industry is hostile for women . Women in STEM report feeling isolated, being the target of microaggressions, and having lower confidence in the workplace. In addition to not having their opinions heard at work, these are all reasons why women don’t choose tech or decide to leave the industry. Another problem occurs when women actually reach the workforce. 38% of women with computer science degrees are working in the industry, compared to 53% of men; engineering has similar data. Women also feel that the glass ceiling, a metaphorical barrier that prevents women and minorities from advancing like men, is stopping them from holding leadership roles. 48% of women account for entry-level hires but just 40% of first-level managers; this gap continues to grow as the leadership role gains more importance. However, the data is promising. The National Science Foundation reports that more women than ever before are earning STEM degrees . As Gen Z enters college and then the workforce, we can expect to see more and more women joining the tech industry, thanks to their status as the first digital native generation. Spain In Spain, only 20.6% of tech workers are women. And in the tech sector, the number of professionals needed doubles every year, leaving a wide gap for women to get into tech. But in Spain, women earn 9.4% less than men ; it may not seem like that much, but that means that they work for free 34 days annually. As we’ve mentioned, the lack of women in tech stems from problems that occur long before women enter the workforce . Only 35% of higher education STEM students are women and just 3% study Information and Communication Technology and related subjects. Women made up 55.3% of all students from 2020-2021 but just 29% of them were in engineering programs and 13.4% in computer science programs. Interestingly enough, however, science is a female-dominated field in Spain . 75% of biomedicine students, 68.7% of medicine, 65.8% of biochemistry, and 61.7% of biotechnology students are women. In tech careers specifically, however, 87% of men are in telecommunications, 74% in industrial, and 73% in physics. This large distinction is due to differences in socialization for boys and girls; strong gender stereotypes dominate young Spanish children’s lives and boys are expected to invent and calculate while girls take on a more caring role. Women make up just 20% of the Spanish startup ecosystem and that number hasn’t changed over the past eight years. 51% of women are serial entrepreneurs; 62% are men. 42% of women have failed in a previous entrepreneurial venture and only 24% record having successfully sold a startup, compared to 33% of men. Spain, however, has the most female FinTech startup executives in Europe (25%). Spain is taking real steps to close the gender gap; in 2012, there was an 18.7% wage gap, nearly 10% higher than what it is today. And the Spanish government is also working to guarantee equal pay through its Real Decreto 902/2020 , which educates workers about the pay gap and wage discrimination, opening every company up to transparency. Germany 17% of German tech jobs are held by women, even though women and men are nearly equal in the general workforce. And despite making up more than half of the university population (52%), women only make up 35% of STEM students. Negative stereotypes contribute to German women’s reluctance to enter the tech industry, in addition to lower levels of digitalization for women which has the following effects: Limited information access Complicated job opportunities Reduced industry efficiency Increased gap between different socioeconomic groups Increased risk for cybercrimes A survey by Microsoft tells us that girls are interested in STEM at age 11 but have a change of heart by age 15; the main reason for this switch is a lack of role models. In addition, the gender wage gap in Germany is one of the worst in Europe; male tech workers earn approximately €15,000 more per year than female coworkers in the same role. In the engineering sector, for example, experts believe that women are socially conditioned to choose lower-paying industries and are more willing to accept part-time jobs . Women are also leaving the tech industry earlier than men; by the age of 45, only 9% of women are still in their tech field. In the startup ecosystem, German women struggle with receiving funding and receiving support to help them manage their work-life balance. In fact, 63% of startups are entirely founded by men and just 6% of female founders are active business angels. What Germany now requires is an equality-centered approach that focuses on eliminating both structural and cultural barriers for women. Portugal A key detail in Portuguese workforce data is that the pay gap between men and women in tech and men and women in all industries is quite similar, meaning choosing a tech career is not as financially risky of a decision as in other countries. Although the wage gap isn’t as severe as it is in other countries, male tech employees average 16% higher salaries than women in the same roles. This deters women from joining the industry: just 18% of tech professionals are women; many cite limited growth opportunities and low salaries as reasons for either avoiding the industry or leaving it. Many of its neighboring countries severely lack female representation in STEM courses in higher education, but Portugal actually has a female-majority of STEM-enrolled students , at 57%. However, this percentage lowers as the courses become more advanced and students report not feeling included or integrated into the courses. Similarly, students reported working in departments with one to two women for every ten men and 10% work in a department with zero women. Groups like Portuguese Women in Tech and the PWIT Salary Transparency Project are working to both close these gaps and educate the general population about these issues; these problems stem from an overall lack of diversity in the workplace and as tech continues to propel Portugal’s economy forward, women will play a key role. The Netherlands Long viewed as a male-dominated field, the tech industry in the Netherlands is beginning to open up to women. In the digital industry, women represent 38% of the total workforce ; this number falls to just 18% in the IT sector. And just 36% of women hold leadership roles (25% of those are CEOs). For entrepreneurs, this number has risen from 2% to 8% since 2005. Secrecy clouding diversity, inclusion, and salaries doesn’t help the Dutch tech sector attract women, either. 88% of companies don’t report salaries and 99% don’t have a public strategy on how to close the gender wage gap in the Netherlands. Not being forthcoming about pay, equality practices, and company diversity can promote stereotypes, myths, and inaccurate information and further deter women from entering the tech industry. The Netherlands suffer from specific societal views and norms about gender, education, and career choices that severely limit womens’ options. Curiously enough, women-dominated industries like healthcare (70%) and education (48%) boast mainly women working part-time and more than half of those working part time do so because of childcare obligations, housework, and informal care ; only 27% men say the same. These societal views also impact the educational choices young Dutch students make; the Netherlands has one of the lowest numbers of women in STEM in Europe and the lack of female role models makes joining the tech sector largely unappealing to women, in addition to long-held stereotypes or sexist beliefs. Although it may seem like these problems are insurmountable, the key to success in the Dutch tech industry lies with women. If women joined the workforce at the same rate as men, the national GDP could grow by €100 billion . To achieve this, PwC suggests establishing networking options for women in the industry, reskilling female talent, sharing success stories for female role models, promoting inclusive environments, and focusing on hiring and training women for tech roles. Brazil Although Brazil can say that 39% of roles within the tech industry are held by women, there’s an important distinction to be made: only 20% hold tech-related positions and the majority work in support or administrative roles. Until 1964 , Brazilian women didn’t have access to their finances and couldn’t even have an ID until 1963, therefore limiting their access to bank accounts; financial independence is still something to which Brazilian women are getting accustomed. Due to strong social stereotypes, the Brazilian tech industry lacks both gender and racial diversity; Black women are extremely underrepresented. But studies show that more diverse and inclusive offices are overall more productive and positive, where employees feel valued and empowered. Just like lots of Latin American countries, Brazil’s stereotypes are strong and hard to change: women are expected to become nurses and men engineers. In 2019, just 26% of graduates in STEM fields were women. Here are some changes companies could undertake to promote diversity and inclusion: Ensuring job descriptions use inclusive language Conducting anonymous interviews to remove any conscious or unconscious bias Providing training to help employees identify and report incidences Promoting work/life balance, which helps women feel that they are not missing out on home responsibilities if they choose to work The truth is that these techniques won’t just help women; they’ll improve the overall workplace experience and job satisfaction for all. And when it comes to female leadership, there are 20 times more male-founded companies than those founded by women and women-founded ones grow much slower and are limited in what they achieve. An imbalance of women in leadership positions can make it harder for younger girls to see themselves in tech and choose to study STEM-related fields. But women need more than just a nudge to get into tech; Brazilian girls need to receive the proper training and empowerment to see that they belong in tech and see that both success and leadership options are a true possibility for them. France Despite the never before seen growth of the French tech scene and wide talent shortage, female workers make up just 20% of total industry workers . This is an improvement from 2020 where the percentage sat at just 17% , but there’s still a long way to go. Just 12% of French startup founders are women and just 11% hold a c-suite role; the money they receive to fund their startups is also less than male-founded startups, which doesn’t encourage women to jump into tech entrepreneurship. In addition, 46% of women in tech report experiencing sexist behavior , such as gender-based mockery and the lack of women in tech generally creates less innovation and a less inclusive culture. Others fear imposter syndrome, the feeling of not belonging, or facing unfair stereotypes. However, organizations such as La French Tech are working to combat this with their 2022 Parity Pact which aims to ensure the following in their member companies: Reaching a minimum threshold of 20% of women on the company’s board by 2025 and 40% by 2028. Training 100% of managers on diversity and inclusion and how to fight discrimination and harassment. Guaranteeing that 100% of published job descriptions are aimed for men and women. And starting in 2023, companies applying to join the French Tech Next 40/120, large companies with the potential to enter the CAC 40 stock index, must commit to working to improve gender inequality and receive gender equality monitoring. Mexico In Mexico, the gender gap in tech stems from a much more systemic problem: digital skill and internet access to the general population and, of course, women. When compared to other countries on gender gaps in tech, Mexico scored well below the global average. This is because state-by-state, digital access varies significantly with rural areas experiencing extremely low levels of access. Men generally have more digital skills than women and this goes from basic to advanced, sending an email to coding. And for women over 36, the gap expands even further ; however, girls and women between 16 and 25 are the most digitally literate, creating the perfect opportunity to welcome more women into tech . Only 12% of university tech graduates are women and only 10% of women who graduate with a degree in a STEM-related field actually work in it. In Mexico, 44% of women are in the workforce , compared to 77% of men; regarding management roles, only 9% of digital and tech companies have women in leadership roles and 23% have a female co-founder. And the outlook isn’t that much more positive on the salary front: male software developers can make 26% more than women with the same skills and experience. We can attribute this lack of women in the workforce to a few factors: Financial independence : few women boast financial independence in Mexico and taking an extra course or starting a new job would mean shirking on their childcare or family care responsibilities. COVID : Mexico lost 1.1 million employers due to COVID and women bore the brunt of lots of layoffs, in addition to taking on additional family care responsibilities. Non-paid domestic work : studies show that Mexican women across all socio-economic statuses dedicate more than 30 hours weekly to non-remunerated domestic work and care. Despite the troubles facing Mexican women in tech, many organizations are taking the next step to reach gender parity. The Women in Digital Award was first awarded on March 8, 2022 to president Salma Jalife Villalón of Centro México Digital, which publishes annual reports about the digital and tech industry. The Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana provides scholarships to women to encourage remote work and developing digital skills; NIÑASTEM PUEDEN works to promote tech among young girls and Codigo X works with all levels of education to encourage women and girls to participate in tech. Women in Tech are the Future It can be daunting to take that first step into tech, especially as a woman. But don’t stress; it’s a great choice that will benefit both you and future generations of women in tech. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at some of the things you can do to get into tech: Create a strong network : use LinkedIn, your university connections, or people you already know in tech to help you gain confidence, get advice, and receive support from women already in tech. Be persistent and resilient : there will be challenges along the way and you might feel discouraged at times but remember to ask for help, keep learning, and continue pursuing your goals. Remember that you belong in technology: women are meant to be in tech and every field. Even if you can’t see as many, they’re there and eager for you to join. Advocate for yourself: know your worth and ask for promotions, raises, new opportunities, and any other thing you want on the job. You belong in tech and can achieve anything. And as you can see, the problems that women in tech face differ from country to country but there are overall themes that are constant across the globe. We spoke to some international experts about seven of the biggest challenges worldwide and what society can focus on to address them. Eliminating gender biases from childhood The gender gap begins in childhood and in very innocuous ways: giving girls dolls to play with and boys cars and legos encourages different behaviors and therefore conditions the way in which girls and boys choose their future career paths. When children see a majority of nursing or caregiver roles held by women and STEM and critical thinking roles held by men, they’ll assume that’s their path as well. Men are frequently given the most risky roles as well in group activities, giving women “safer” tasks such as organization, design, or details. Many countries have already placed a focus on this, but ensuring that children are raised in a more gender-neutral environment without societal-based gender expectations can help expand children’s minds and prepare them to take on whatever role they desire. Build womens’ self-confidence Here’s a quick stat: women tend to apply to jobs only where they are sure they meet at least 90% of the requirements; men apply even if they don’t meet them. This could stem back to societal expectations; men are encouraged to take risks and not be afraid of failure, women are more cautious. In addition, women can be faced with different kinds of scrutiny at work and asked about their family plans, marital status, or other questions that are reserved for just women. An increased focus on impartiality in the interview process and inclusive language could help women feel more comfortable when approaching new situations. And companies that offer maternity and paternity leave, supporting both parents equally, can help fight stereotypes. Create more female tech role models Women lack role models and examples of successful tech women; when women see the biggest tech companies with a male-dominated staff, it can be tough to feel encouraged. However, women’s associations and communities can help women connect with other female tech employees and access resources, tools, and mentoring programs. Companies can also work to give women more opportunities, offer scholarships, and provide mentorship connections to women. Create healthy work/life balances Women are disproportionately affected by domestic and family-related responsibilities and this can cause them to work part-time or leave the workforce entirely. Providing women with hybrid or remote options, in addition to childcare and flexible parental leave, could make tech roles an option for many more women. The gender gap in tech can be intimidating but here’s the key: it’s improving worldwide and more and more countries are taking action to ensure that all women have access to tech education and the same career opportunities as men. Women in tech are the future and here’s a fact: achieving gender parity in tech and all areas will improve overall life for everyone in every sector. At Ironhack, we're dedicated to helping more and more women enter the tech sector. Interested in being part of the change? You're in the right place.

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