Diversity & Inclusion, Recruiting, Technology

Why Are There So Few Women in The Field of Technology?

Women in technology still have a long way to go, despite the fact that society has made great progress in recent decades toward gender equality.

Recruiting Women Technology

In the United States, women currently receive more bachelor’s degrees than males, yet just 15% of computer science graduates are female. Women also account for roughly 30% of the workforce at tech companies like Microsoft and Google, with significantly fewer in leadership and technical roles.

So what is it about technology professions that prevents women from pursuing them, and why does it matter?

In this post, we’ll look at some of the reasons why women are kept out of the workforce, as well as why this is so bad for employees, businesses, and society. We’ll also take a look at some successful efforts to eliminate the gender gap.

Why Are There So Few Women in The IT Industry?

Is it true that women are ‘less reasonable’ than men? The idea that men are more rational by nature than women date back to Aristotle and is still deeply embedded in the national mind of society.  The long-standing divide between rational and emotional reasoning still exists today, giving support to the idea that women aren’t made out for technical jobs like males.

But now is the moment to debunk certain myths:

  • Girls are now surpassing boys in STEM subjects in school. According to a recent study, 15-year-old females in 70 percent of countries did better in math and science literacy than their male counterparts, regardless of national gender equality levels.
  • According to a study of over 1.4 million GitHub users, women’s coding talents are actually superior than men.

So, what’s standing in the way of this skill and ability being appropriately translated into workforce participation? Discrimination.

Discrimination in the employment process also reduces the number of women who receive job offers. Not only are women’s abilities undervalued, but mothers are frequently discriminated against because they require maternity leave or because companies are hesitant to recruit women who may quit to care for children at home.

In addition, a shortage of parental leave may push moms out of the IT industry or dissuade them from entering it in the first place. Because companies expect employees to devote so much of their time and energy to making their firm successful, this issue may be especially prominent in a competitive and fast-paced field like IT.

Why Do We Need More Women In IT?

It’s worth thinking about why there are so few women in tech industry to begin with. Some may ask why it matters so much – after all, why modify anything if women aren’t as interested in technology as men are?

Aside from wider problems of gender equality, it is in a company’s best interests to increase the number of women in its ranks. In today’s world, diverse groups working together to address problems is critical. According to research, women’s teams, and diversity in general, produce better outcomes and are more collaborative in nature. Given the significance of collaboration in fields like web development, the fact that diverse teams produce better outcomes should motivate IT companies to diversify their workforce.

Women in Leadership Roles

Not only are women underrepresented in the computer industry, but they are also underrepresented in leadership roles. Because overcoming barriers and exposing new ideas to the public is such an essential component of technology, having women lead in this area is very vital. We can comprehend challenges from all viewpoints and are more likely to design successful solutions with more different views in the mix.

Women are usually the major target audience for Internet companies, whether it’s e-commerce platforms, social games, or health and wellness apps. As a result, it is vital that the products and services offered by these businesses be not just consumed by women, but also led or co-founded by women. Women should not only be consumers of technology in the future, but also makers.

Female leadership is in short supply, posing a concern for the entire society. Gender quotas in political systems have existed for a long time since it is commonly recognized that equitable representation across many strands of society is necessary inside organizations with substantial authority. Issues that impact women or hold them back may be tackled more effectively with more women working in IT.

What are our options? Let’s take a look at some concrete initiatives that may be made to make the tech sector a better, more inclusive place.

A Change in Attitude
Mindset transformations are required for change to occur throughout all aspects of society. We must be mindful of how internalized sexism might affect our work attitudes. Many workplaces were designed with the conventional male breadwinner paradigm in mind, and as a result, women are underrepresented. It’s crucial to keep this in mind as you move forward with structural adjustments.

Traditional views of excellent leadership, for example, are inextricably linked to society’s historical regard for the ideal of masculinity. A successful leader is frequently thought to be someone who exhibits male attributes such as strength, competition, and reason. However, this viewpoint ignores the importance of attributes like empathy, sensitivity, and care. Many of these long-held preconceptions must be re-examined if we want more women to lead in technology. When businesses are willing to change their mentality, the workplace provides a more inviting environment for women and other minorities who may have previously felt excluded.

We must also think critically about how individuals who work in technology are portrayed in the media and fight outdated preconceptions to prevent them from being passed down to future generations. Instead of buying robots, scientific kits, and lightsabers just for guys, we should make similar items available to girls as well.

As an industry, we should collaborate with instructors at schools and colleges to exhibit the types of initiatives that will pique their interest. These women are our future’s founders, and we must support them so that they do not miss out on their chance to alter the world.

Creating a Family-Friendly Workplace
Offering a comprehensive family benefits package that includes 18 weeks of paid maternity leave as well as other advantages including one-on-one mentorship with other working parents and childcare support.

Such rules have shown to be beneficial to many businesses in addition to making the workplace a more equitable environment for working parents.

Hopefully, as more organizations embrace similar inclusive practices, these kind of packages will become the standard. This will guarantee that technology benefits from the perspective of moms, as well as contribute to a shift in thinking that will allow future women to have both a successful profession and a family with minimal compromises.

The Future Path

The future’s path is determined by technology, and women must have an equal opportunity to shape it. We must all work together to break down the hurdles that impede female participation in technology from becoming a reality.

Companies must guarantee that sexism is not tolerated in the recruiting process or in the workplace, and tremendous projects to bridge the gender barrier must continue to be developed across the world.

Allison Dretzin is a Guest Contributor at HR Daily Advisor.