The conflict over gender equality is not new. Many countries have been working on equality for women for the last two decades, but still, there are some areas where women are not getting equal opportunities. According to Builtin, 50% of women feel they are gender discriminated against at work. One of the sectors where women are often discriminated against is in tech. The tech industry has long been known as a male-dominated field where women often have less representation. Even though tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Amazon have made significant progress in increasing the number of women in the workforce, their number is on average still as low as 34% in the US as of 2020 Feb 19, and many women are still struggling to get entry into the tech sector. In this era, where technology is taking hits day by day, women should not isolate themselves from being a part of technology.
Why Are There fewer Women in the IT Industry?
Many factors lead to a lower rate of women in the IT sector. Following are some of the prominent reasons according to careerfoundry, b2bmarketing and workable.
- Societal Influences and Biases
- Lack of Interest
- Workplace systems
- Lack of Appreciation
- Old stereotypes
- Wage Gap
Societal Influences and Biases
The perception of people affects the decision of women to be a part of STEM education. Family members, relatives, and even friends sometimes influence the girl’s decision not to opt for technology as a career. Parents in some cases think that girls are not meant to opt for technology as a career. People believe that only a man can be an Engineer. These things restrict women from choosing their career in STEM.
Lack of Interest
There are some cases when women find not much interest in IT. From the very beginning, they have been told that your brother will become an Engineer and you have to do household chores. This does not make them happy and they start losing interest in the IT sector. Many girls believe that technology is considered a “Boys Club”. They start thinking that they can’t fit in there.
There are some cases when there are biases for women. Men have made perceptions that they can handle technology careers better than women. Sometimes they believe that only their contribution is effective in the IT field. Unknowingly, these things can prevent women from working in the tech sector.
Lack of Appreciation
Even though women are doing good in their respective workplaces, sometimes women don’t get an appreciation for their work for being a woman. This leads to a lower rate of women in the IT industry.
According to CNET, some restrictions on girls begin at a very young age. They are not getting equal rights for getting access to computers and technology-based stuff. People feel that boys are better at STEM. In many places, women have been discouraged from pursuing technology-based jobs. This usually happens due to Brogrammer Tech Culture which is being supported in many colleges.
In some IT companies, women are underpaid and they are not satisfied with their regular salaries. According to CIO, a woman gets an average salary of approximately $93590, whereas a man gets $107710. This wage gap doesn’t encourage women to stay in the IT industry as they can earn relatively a higher wage in industries like agricultural, personal service, Health care, Electrical and electronics, Sewing machine and Construction according to CNBC.
How To Encourage Women To Do Tech Jobs?
Some of the following steps can be taken to encourage women into the tech industry.
- Educate schools about tech
- Mentor young women
- Encourage women to rotate roles
- Promote your company as diversity-friendly
- Give Credits And Appreciation
- Hear their Voices
- Reach out to more women
- Make awareness of different tech roles
- Let Women Lead
Educate schools about tech
It’s very crucial to teach computer science to younger girls. The gender gap can be eliminated if more girls are encouraged to pursue STEM topics in school. There are complex social factors that discourage women from choosing STEM as a career, so it should be avoided. Teachers should equally encourage girls to be involved in coding just like boys.
According to CareerFoundry girls beat boys in STEM subjects at school. One study revealed that in 70% of the nations, 15 years old girls performed better than boys in Maths and Science regardless of the inequality in the country.
Mentor young women
Mentoring, young ladies, is very much needed. Constant guidance can excel women in the tech field. Under the supervision of a guide, women can learn much more tech-related skills that can enhance their performance. When they get more exposure to new skills, it will encourage them to do their job efficiently.
Encourage women to rotate roles
There are different kinds of job roles in the tech industry. A regular rotation at the workplace is useful for women in learning more skills and strengthen what they already know. According to Susan Heathfield, a human resources consultant, and has been in the industry for 30 years, job rotation helps employees broaden their skills and employers to motivate their staff.
Promote your company as diversity-friendly
When you promote your company as diversity-friendly, more women, especially women from minority groups, are attracted to your organization. A diverse workplace allows women to thrive, and be more comfortable, thereby having higher productivity in the workplace. According to Harvard Business Review, cognitive diversity leads to problems to be solved at a faster rate. Since women, and men have cognitive differences. Having women on board in a team is beneficial for an organization to improve its efficiency.
Give credits And appreciation
There are some workplaces where women don’t get enough credit for their services, for instance, builtin had reported how minority women mostly feel invisible at work due to lack of praises given to them. Rather than becoming a male-dominated society, the managerial level of the offices should appreciate female tech workers for their work. This will create a wonderful working environment, thereby encouraging more women to be a part of the tech industry. For building strong a culture managers, executives and co-workers, must applaud women for their work. One of the best ways to carry out the message is to use the internal mailing system to highlight the achievements of female employees at the organization.
Hear their voices
A lot of events and seminars are conducted in many IT companies. It would be better if more women are allowed to speak on the stage as their voice is more often unheard in the IT industry.
Reach out to more women
When you reach out to different groups for hiring, prioritize women more, especially young women who are just graduated from college. However, it’s important to highlight their skills when hiring instead of hiring them for the sake of being women.
Make awareness of different tech roles
Tech job roles are not only confined to coding software, there is a lot more in the tech sector. So it is crucial to raise some voice regarding tech roles and respective responsibilities. When women realize more roles like sales, marketing, and analytics, they will tend to apply for jobs in the tech industry for sure when they are not interested in programming jobs.
Let Women Lead
Give women equal chances of leading teams. This allows women to be more confident and empowered. When they are recognized for their leadership quality, it will encourage young women to lead in the future as well by making more role models.
If women reach their full potential, then only a nation can develop to its fullest. So women should be encouraged similarly to men are. Women have a lot of talents that can bring fruitful results if utilized properly. Build your nation, strong and wealthy by encouraging women to do better in every aspect of the workplace.