The secret to fighting gender gap in tech industry
There’s roughly a balanced number of female and male inhabitants of this beautiful planet, and both genders occupy professional positions nearly equally. Except not really, because once we take a closer look at tech industry it becomes painfully obvious how much this sector is dominated by men.
In 2015 only about 25% of employees in tech-related positions were women. What exactly is the cause of this imbalance? The debate in search of an answer has existed for quite some time now, and we’re yet to see a definite conclusion. The solution to this problem, however, has already been found, but you might not have realized it yourself.
Study by Katie F. Gugliotta for University of Tennessee has shown that, even though most females in early years of school express their passion towards maths and science, but only two males (and no females) were confident enough to state that they are the best in maths in their groups. Is that a preexisting condition or social stigma? Whichever it is, it stops most girls from following the STEM careers (acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) creating a vicious circle of females being a minority in tech industry.
Girl, today you have the opportunity to conquer new worlds.
There are several examples of successful women who can inspire you to want to create your own path to the world of programming. Susan Wojcicki, for example, is current CEO of YouTube. She also played a major role in the development of Google Images and Google Books, among other services. She was also the key element in the acquisition of YouTube by Google in 2006.
Another great example is Dr. Anita Borg. She was a great computer scientist who developed her own Unix-based OS, worked as a researcher in the visionary company Xerox, and was a feminist activist. In 1997, with the purpose of promoting women in computing, she founded the Institute for Women and Technology, called Anita Borg Institute after her passing in 2003. In 2017 it became AnitaB.org. The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship was founded in her memory, and it aims at supporting women engineers.
During her life Anita said:
“It’s my opinion that only by really full participation — only by having a moonshot kind of goal will we actually do what’s necessary to pull women into creating the technology that is going to wash over the world in the future.”
There are, however, other notable women in tech world besides Susan and Anita. To name a few, we have Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo), Meg Whitman (CEO of Hewlett-Packard) and Virginia Rometty (CEO of IBM).
No more inequality. Today is time for change.
If you want to contribute to the fight against the gender gap in the field of STEM careers, you can start learning programming on sites like CodeAcademy, or do courses at Udemy or Khan Academy.
After you get around the essentials do not hesitate to put your newly acquired skills to use. How exactly?
Code for fun
You know exactly why you started this adventure. Don’t limit yourself to professional activities only. If you’re passionate about programming express this fascination in the most natural way. Will you develop an app? Build your own website? Sky’s the limit!
Sign up for a hackathon
World of programming challenges is out there for you to explore. It’s your choice which one you decide to participate in, but if you feel like coding alongside fellow women then Anita’s Moonshot Codeathon might interest you. Such events are a great experience that you can benefit from immensely. Social networking? Sure. Gaining experience? You got it! Some sweet prizes? That’s a given!
Your fate is in your hands and it’s up to you to decide whether or not you will enter into the most exciting and promising sector of the modern era. The most powerful weapon you have in this battle is your own mindset. Let nobody tell you something is impossible.
Be yourself, fight for yourself, and code with passion.