Over the years, women have been encouraged to pursue technology. But today, there’s still a wide gap between men and women in tech. Even though women make up about 47% of the U.S workforce, only 26.7% have jobs in the tech industry. According to Fortune, women run 8.8% of businesses on the Fortune 500 list in 2022.
Many women get overlooked in tech despite their great feats. Take Angelica Ross, for example. She is a transgender woman who founded TransTech Social Entreprises, which helps gender-nonconforming people get technical roles. What about Susan Kare? She’s responsible for what remains of some of Apple’s signature graphics. Women’s importance in tech is everywhere.
In college admissions, fewer women choose technology-related careers. After graduation, fewer women than men end up working in tech positions. But there’s no reason women shouldn’t be in technology. The tech industry needs gender diversity to continue thriving.
Let’s discuss why and how women can venture into the tech industry.
Challenges of Women in Tech
Like other industries, the tech industry can be biased. Women get fewer opportunities to work in tech. Traditionally, tech was a male-dominated field, so only a few women made it to the top positions. As a result, women may feel discouraged about venturing into tech.
Also, some women may carry family responsibilities, making it harder to get and keep their tech jobs. But times are changing, and more women are gaining ground in tech. There’s a slow but steady increase in the number of women in tech. And as this growth continues, more and more women will be in tech soon. But why is this essential?
Importance of Diversity in Tech
Studies show that diversity is good for business. Team diversity in terms of gender, race, and age is likely to accelerate innovation. Each group can help bring in more ideas concerning problems faced by specific demographics.
1. Helps Improve Performance
Studies show that gender diversity can be profitable to a business. A survey was carried out on 22,000 firms globally. Results showed that firms with 30% female leadership were associated with a 6% net profit margin. The reasons for the increased profitability were diversity in skills and less gender discrimination. With more women at the top, the companies' hiring policies were less likely to discriminate against women. So the hiring process focused more on skills rather than gender. As a result, these companies had more talented workers.
2. Provides Workforce in A Growing Industry
Tech is among the fastest-growing industries in the world. Therefore, it requires more labor supply to thrive. Women make up almost half the workforce population. Their exclusion can deprive this industry of the crucial human resources it needs to grow.
3. Helps Design Balanced Products
Having more women in tech can foster the growth of women-related tech products. The men in tech are less likely to design products not associated with them. But women with tech skills can help make tech products more balanced.
How to Get More Women in Tech
Women are as good at technology as men. It’s not the lack of interest that keeps women from pursuing tech-related occupations. It’s an unsupportive culture and an undervaluing of their capabilities. So a good starting point to get women in technology is creating a supportive culture in homes, schools, and the workplace.
1. Avoid Unconscious Biases
Most kids who spend time with computers are likely to develop an interest in computer studies. Since more boys than girls spend time on computers, they’re more likely to be interested in pursuing a career in tech. So allowing girls equal access to computer systems can help nature their interest and pursue a career in computers.
Sometimes, parents can become unconsciously biased. For instance, a parent can send a son to a summer camp to learn to code. But the same parent sends a daughter to a different summer camp. These girls might feel intimidated in a computer class full of boys who learn to code at a young age. So, parents should take care not to be unconsciously biased against their daughters.
Encourage the younger girls you know to explore STEM subjects and gather resources you can give them to learn. By actively suggesting resources for them to learn from, you facilitate pro skills at a young age! The earlier girls get started, the more beneficial.
2. Create a Supportive Culture
Organizations should create gender-neutral job descriptions to encourage women to apply. Moreover, hiring companies need to motivate women by giving them equal pay as their male colleagues. Hiring boards should have women’s representations to avoid gender bias in the hiring process.
Also, the hiring policies should ensure gender bias doesn’t take place. Companies should have inclusive cultures that don’t make women feel left out.
If top tech companies give women a fair share in senior positions, this move can help encourage younger women interested in pursuing a career in tech.
Encourage inclusive practices at companies you work with. Change starts with speaking up, so don’t be afraid to say something when you know it could be different. When everyone contributes to making the workplace a better environment, change becomes more active and realistic.
3. Provide Financial Support
Some organizations like AnitaB.org provide support to women in tech. Several other organizations want to help more women to get into tech. They do this by providing financial support. This kind of support enables women entrepreneurs to start tech-related businesses.
4. Emphasize Education in Tech
A career in tech starts with education. If you want to pursue a career in tech, it’s always good to choose subjects in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Remember, many women have made it in the tech field, which means you can as well.
Don’t feel intimidated by classes filled with men. While it may seem like a lot, those classes need you there. There are so many ways to explore STEM subjects whether that be through traditional classes, self-guided learning, bootcamps, and more. There’s no need to feel limited in how you make it to the top.
It’s High Time for Women to Venture into Tech
As time passes, the demand for tech workers keeps on growing. More skilled experts of any gender are needed to supply labor to this field. Diversity in tech helps to look at problems holistically and provide effective solutions. Participation of women in tech can help restore balance and speed up innovation.
It’s not too late for women to venture into tech. With the support of experienced trainers, you can start with short computer courses to get you started. If you’re interested in working in a tech position, Ironhack is prepared to provide you with the skills needed.
We offer programming lessons that have high demand in the current market. You can study with us online or on-campus, depending on your availability. Join our bootcamp training today to help you secure a job in the tech industry.