Women in Tech
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Let’s face it: gender diversity in tech is still an issue. When it comes to recruiting women, the computer industry unfortunately lags behind the rest of the employment market. Even though the ratio of employed women in the United States has increased to 47 percent, the five top tech businesses on the planet (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft) only employ roughly 34.4 percent women. While contentious technologies and showy CEOs receive most of the negative press, the absence of women in the tech business appears to be the most pressing issue.
WOMEN IN TECH STATISTICS: HIRING TRENDS
- 48% of women in STEM jobs report discrimination in the recruitment and hiring process.
- Black and Hispanic women, who majored in computer science or engineering, are less likely to be hired into a tech role than their white counterparts.
- 39% of women view gender bias as a primary reason for not being offered a promotion.
- 66% of women report that there is no clear path forward for them in their career at their current companies.
Why are so few women able to advance to management or technical positions? “The broken rung” is one possibility. Women are still underrepresented in software engineering (14 percent of the total workforce) and computer science-related occupations (25 percent of total workforce). In reality, during the last 21 years, the number of women hired as software engineers has increased by only 2%. Instead than talking about “glass ceilings,” we should accept that women face a considerably higher barrier to entry-level technical jobs. This “broken rung” in the career ladder already disadvantages women, leading to a cycle in which IT businesses hire people of the same gender and race.
WOMEN IN TECH STATISTICS: WORKPLACE TRENDS
- 26% of computing-related jobs are held by women.
- Just 3% of computing-related jobs are held by African-American women, 6% held by Asian women and 2% held by Hispanic women.
- 50% of women said they have experienced gender discrimination at work.
- 43% of Americans believe women create a safer, more respectful work environment than men. Only 5% of Americans believe men create a safer work space.
- Positively, women’s earnings are outpacing those of men’s when it comes to high-skill jobs.
- Women were 22% more likely to experience “Imposter Syndrome” in the workplace (the overwhelming feeling of being out of place compared to colleagues)
What Can We Do to Boost Gender Diversity in Tech?
What can the tech industry do to improve gender equality in the workplace? We need to focus more on hiring and promoting women at the entry and managerial levels, rather than focusing primarily on women in the C-suite. Here are a few ways that technology could help women reach their job goals by fixing their “broken rung” problem.
GIVE CREDIT WHEN IT’S DUE
Managers, coworkers, and executives must continuously call out instances where a woman’s good work goes unappreciated in order to establish a stronger culture. Sending periodic emails or internal communications to your group showcasing ideas and projects brought about by women is an easy approach to offer appreciation and bring unrecognized labor to light.
HIRE BASED ON POTENTIAL, NOT JUST CURRENT COMPETENCIES AND BACKGROUNDS
Women in the workplace are being harmed by the present tendency of recruiting based on current competencies and prior experience, which may be traced back to the “broken rung” issue. Because women are currently underrepresented in entry-level positions, they are unable to get relevant experience as rapidly as males. This puts them at a disadvantage in the employment process because they haven’t been able to build the necessary knowledge and network.
Instead of employing based on experience, tech companies should hire on the basis of potential. To properly figure out who is on the fast track for management and executive-level jobs, companies should hire objectively based on attributes like curiosity, engagement, drive, passion, and insight. Hiring based on future potential rather than recent experience equalizes the playing field and gives women more opportunities.
INCREASE FLEXIBLE WORKING OPTIONS
To retain top talent and foster a growing pipeline of qualified working mothers, more flexible work options must be implemented. Working mothers, in particular, have been pushed to their limits by the covid-19 pandemic. 64 percent of women want more flexibility in the workplace, whether it’s in terms of location (office or at home) or work hours. To help working mothers balance childcare and other personal matters with their careers, the 9-5 job and rigidity of staying only at the office or only at home should become obsolete.