Women are excelling in tech, yet the industry fails them
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We must do better
While the number of women in tech is on the rise, there’s still much progress to be made. The products are rarely made with women in mind from a lack of female role models, mentors, and positions. Despite the obvious gender pay gap and possibilities offered, many problems persistently affect women in the industry. It clarifies that with the changes made in the work environment and despite being a large population of consumers and possible creators, tech is failing women.
The world is changing. With the advent of new technologies, the way we do business is evolving, and so are the skills required for success. And while many people believe that only highly intelligent individuals are capable of being creative and working in technology, that is as incorrect as thinking that these characteristics are exclusively attached to male features (which, believe it or not, is a common belief).
Being intelligent is no longer a white and black therm, and neither is creativity. This industry doesn’t need brilliant people and outside-the-box thinkers to create a change and leave a mark. What tech needs is people who dare, people who want to transform and innovate, and that isn’t held by a concept or a gender, but by attitude.
Fighting gender discrimination in business
Companies that have committed to raising the number of women in tech should take this step sooner rather than later; as women conquer new ground, new challenges arise, and the changes have to happen if we want to live in an equal world.
The pandemic has caused many changes, one being how we perceive gender diversity within technology companies. When it comes to gender equality, the technology industry is making progress. Deloitte Global predicts that large global technology companies will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces this 2022, up slightly more than two percentage points from 2019.
It’s great that we’re closing this gap little-by bit every day; however, there’s no denying how much more work needs doing before we see equal representation across all departments. Especially technical ones where men tend to be slightly favored over females and represented at nearly twice the rate.
Women are not only a critical niche audience but rather agents for change that can help create solutions with their work careers and lives.
The lack of gender diversity in smaller tech companies is a concern because they don’t typically report their data. Still, according to one study from 2019, only 43% had established companywide hiring and promotion goals for increased represented ethnic minorities. Without targets or transparency, it may be difficult for them compared with larger firms that can invest time into this initiative.
When the global economy began to crumble, women in technology got hit especially hard. A new study by Deloitte reveals that compared to men, the crisis overwhelmed women on a higher level both at work and home alike.
The technology, media, and telecom (TMT) female employees have experienced dramatic drops in motivation–even though their productivity levels had increased, the responsibilities fall unequally in gender. 83% reported a growth not just on household chores but also dependent care-given meaning.
And more alarmingly, only 38% of women in the TMT industry feel their organization’s commitment to supporting them has been sufficient.
Innovative companies respond to the pandemic by expanding programs, including flexible work and well-being initiatives. For example, Google has introduced job sharing and accessible mental health counseling for employees, and other grand enterprises followed its example.
Or in our case, at DNAMIC, we designed a campaign for our community to enjoy working remotely and encourage them to #WorkFromHappiness since life is a collection of moments that we should not waste any time or energy on activities that won’t satisfy us. Our careers should be a passion in this regard.
But women will not be able to enjoy these or anything else in life if society keeps promoting inequality as a fundamental principle of business and life.
Feminism in the tech industry?
The tech industry has a long history of being male-centered and white, but it’s changing. As more women join the workforce in STEM fields like computer science or aerospace engineering, they’re not just filling office jobs either!
The need for diversity on teams becomes even more significant because many cultures bring unique perspectives that will help shape our future prosperity. We can see it from trailblazer women who knock on the adversity door and try to shape the path by kicking these doors open.
An incredible example is Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, who overcame many obstacles and blazed a trail for women in tech. Lovelace’s writings on the Analytical Engine that Alan Turing took as a source of inspiration for his work on the first modern computer in the 1940s.
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper was another innovative and influential computer scientist who worked on the Harvard Mark I, one of America’s first real computers. Her work led to COBOL – a programming language still used today for administrative tasks like processing insurance claims or making payments by credit card! In 1947 she recorded what is to be THE FIRST bug in history when it occurred during self-test exercises at her request so that engineers could fix these errors before they were used throughout automated machinery systems across industries, thus creating “bug bounties.”
And is also said that she coined the phrase: “it is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission,” which makes her a trailblazer and an icon.
WiFi, Bluetooth, and even GPS are all inventions that originated from one woman who got inspired by her own World War II invention. Hedy Lamarr developed a secret communication system to help guide torpedoes in combat during wartime. It eventually led to some of today’s most common technologies like WiFi routers or cell phones with built-in Bluetooth capability!
There are also new female role models to look up to in this industry, such as Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, or Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, and Alaina Percival, CEO and Co-Founder of Women Who Code, she has been named Executive in Residence at Georgia State University.
Her course is titled WomenLead in Technology, will begin this spring of 2022, and will cover subjects in diversity, leadership, and the significance of women leaders in the industry.
It’s critical to have a diverse workforce in tech, as it enables companies to create better products and hire more workers capable of taking on these responsibilities. A report from 2020 found that having employees with different backgrounds can help businesses grow and perform well even if they do not personally know each other!
This idea resonates even further when we look at how women remain widely underrepresented within IT roles–maintaining an uneven playing field where some groups may always be left out or looked down upon because their gender does not match what’s considered “normal.”
Are women not considered a target demographic?
The lack of diversity in technology companies is ultimately influencing the product. Any good tech company knows that user research can help refine and optimize your product for better results, but if you’re making something explicitly designed with lived male experience, all data will be biased as well.
As Caroline Criado Perez puts it in her book “Invisible Women,” “The result of this deeply male-dominated culture is that the male experience, the male perspective, has come to be seen as universal, while the female experience – that of half the global population, after all – is seen as, well, niche.”
Women in the tech industry have been fighting an uphill battle for decades. Despite all their progress, there is still a significant gender gap within STEM fields that manifests itself through employment opportunities and wages.
To close this gap, we should continue to encourage girls and young women to get involved in STEM fields and create a workplace culture that is fair and equal, as well as providing the deserve equality in terms of pay. Only then will we be able to see a fundamental change in the industry and allow it to benefit everyone, not just those who are currently in power.
Women have always been an integral part of the tech industry, contributing some of the most innovative ideas and inventions. However, despite what Kim Kardashian says, men should get up and do the work that needs to be done and create real change. Of course, women are part of this change, but there’s still a long way to go to achieve equality in the world, especially in the tech industry, and a women’s part sadly is not enough.
Only by valuing women’s contributions and seeing them as vital members of the industry can we hope to create a genuine difference. Let’s commit to doing better and making tech a more inclusive place for everyone.