I was wondering why the tech world seem to have more male than female counterparts… Why woman and tech are not featured as often.
My research took me on an enormous journey with many arguments out there. From biology explanations to socialization and gender stereotyping.
Dr. Alice H. Eagly
A former Google engineer has pushed this topic into the spotlight. The writer argued there are ways to explain the gender gap in tech that don’t rely on bias and discrimination. Specifically, biological sex differences. Dr. Alice H. Eagly says she agrees, as a social scientist who’s been conducting research about sex and gender for almost 50 years. Biological differences between the sexes likely are part of the reason we see fewer women than men in the ranks of the tech work. But let’s not dwell on this too much. There is no direct evidence that biology causes the lack of women in tech jobs.
According to a report issued by PwC’s Economics, despite decades of progress towards achieving equality in the workplace. Women remain significantly under-represented in emerging tech. The imbalance between men and women in the technology sector is unlikely to be remedied. Unless organizations, schools and universities work together to change entrenched perceptions about the tech industry. The report, 16 nudges for more #WomenInTech, analyses the behavioural measures that bring gender equality to emerging tech.
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Women currently hold 19% of tech-related jobs at the top 10 global tech companies, relative to men who hold 81%. In leadership positions at these global tech giants, women make up 28%, with men representing 72%.
Cultivating an interest in STEM fields
So, what is the solution? Cultivating an interest in STEM fields must start as early as possible, at school and in higher education, for example. From an early age, behavioural design can help through de-biasing classrooms. Changing how our children are taught, as well as through celebrating counter-stereotypical role models. Feddersen adds: “Fostering inclusivity, and bringing more women into emerging tech and the workforce in general, will help introduce new viewpoints and ideas to emerging tech.”
Tracey Welson-Rossman explains, as the founder of TechGirlz, that they are “a non-profit organization based in Pennsylvania, United States and is dedicated to helping middle school girls understand opportunities in the technology industry. She has spent a lot of time researching and comprehending why there has been a decline in girls and women entering the field. The facts are clear: girls think computer careers are boring. The media portrays techies as nerds and geeks. Schools offer few programming or tech classes. And parents do not fully understand all the choices that tech offers for careers. It has become undeniably obvious that technology as a career is not being presented to girls in a way that is attractive to them. Tracey says the solution is simple: change how technology jobs are presented and girls will choose to pursue them. Techgirlz offer free workshops for young girls. Go check it out on https://www.techgirlz.org/about/. There are 50 topics to choose from including coding, movie editing, jewellery design, digital marketing, cyber security, and more!
Regardless of whether nature or nurture is more powerful for explaining the lack of women in tech careers. People should guard against acting on the assumption of a gender binary. It makes more sense to treat individuals of both sexes as located somewhere on a continuum of masculine and feminine interests and abilities. Treating people as individuals rather than merely stereotyping them as male or female is difficult. Given how quickly our automatic stereotypes kick in. But working toward this goal would foster equity and diversity for woman in tech and other sectors of the economy.
“If we believe the future lies in STEM, we must train ourselves, and our daughters, in the relevant skills. Whatever our profession, let us rethink the way we apply our capabilities in light of the future of work. Let’s inspire and empower the next generation of women in tech.”