It’s not very often you come across a women leaders who have a tech background. Ever wondered why is that so?
Back in 2017, only 5% of CEOs of major companies in the US were women. But there is a window for hope. Since 2015, the number of women in senior leadership has increased from 17% to 21%. Increasingly, corporations around the world have started to see the benefits of building gender diverse teams.
In this article, we will analyze some of the underlying realities of girls and women in the tech industry around the world.
How does education affect girls’ interest in a tech career?
Research conducted by the UK Department of Education among 10,000 students in 2019 found that only 32% of female pupils enjoyed studying STEM subjects at school.
On the other hand, 59% of male pupils ranked STEM subjects first for enjoyment.
The survey also recorded that 60% of male students thought they were best at STEM subjects when only 33% of female students felt so. The irony lies in the fact that 68% of female students secured grades A-C in STEM when only 65% of male students secured the same grades.
The above table indicates that girls slightly outperform boys in STEM in their early education. Why then is there a lack of interest among girls to pursue a career in tech? One of the reasons could be a general misconception: A stereotype that boys are better at science and maths than girls.
Why is it important to have women in tech roles?
According to research at the University of Castilla la Mancha, Spain, gender diverse R&D teams radically innovate.
Another reason is a significant increase in the talent pool for recruiters looking to fulfill talent demand.
The evolving job roles no longer demand physical strength but the ability to remain focused for the long term and attention to detail which comes naturally to women.
Some eminent female founders in the tech industry
- Alice Bentinck – Entrepreneur First
- Carlene Jackson – Cloud9Insight
- Kathleen Yu – Rumarocket.com
- Edith Harbaugh – LaunchDarkly
- Leah Solivan – TaskRabbit
- Leslie Feinzaig – Female Founders Alliance
- Lauren Washington – KeepUp, Fundr, Black Women Tech Talk
- Samantha Snabes – Re:3D
- Melanie Perkins
- Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon – Stemettes
What Salesforce is doing to promote diversity
Salesforce takes gender diversity seriously. This was evident when they hired their first chief equality officer in 2016. The responsibilities of the officer include ensuring diversity across the organization and incorporating four pillars of equality. They are:
- Equal rights
- Equal pay
- Equal education
- Equal opportunity
Salesforce decided to address pay disparity back in 2015 when Marc Benioff was confronted by Cindy Robbins, Salesforce’s employee success chief who along with another senior woman executive alleged that women employees at Salesforce were being paid less than men for the same work.
That’s when the company took a stance to address pay equality.
What can companies do to address the gender gap at your tech workplace?
The good news is that we’re living at a time when there is discussion around the topic and corporations are taking baby steps to get to a better place than where they are today.
Read about two Cloudideas employees who discuss their experiences of being a woman in the tech world.