By Sandra Quinn
On Thursday last, as the world recognised the contribution of women to various sectors and industries in celebration of International Women’s Day, it got us here in Horizon Globex thinking about whether or not there should be more women in technology.
Like most sectors rooted in science, mathematics and engineering, technology is dominated by men, but that is something that can be changed.
In 2017, ISACA released figures obtained from conducting a global survey about women in technology in their paper ‘The Future Tech Workforce: Breaking Gender Barriers.” The study was conducted online and more than 500 people participated.
Their findings revealed that at the top level, only 21% of executives were women.
The following were listed at the main barriers;
- 48% said that there was a lack of female mentors.
- 42% said there was a lack of female role models in technology.
- 39% reported a gender bias in the workplace.
- 36% said that there unequal growth opportunities compared to men.
- 35% said that there was unequal pay for the same skills.
The report also found that 14% believed there is a lack of work/life balance and another 14% believe that educational institutions do not encourage girls to pursue tech careers.
Looking at the figures above, it is clear that the lack of women in technology is one of the main stumbling blocks in getting more women to enter the field.
In this way, it is not just companies at fault, but also training institutes, universities and schools.
The following are some ways in which women could be encouraged to train and work in otherwise male dominated fields;
- Create an equal workplace by establishing networking opportunities and this will increase innovation and motivation.
- Forums and affinity groups have also been proven as highly beneficial towards giving women leadership skills, building mentorship circles and it also allows them to meet new people.
- Increased communications to address concerns, worries and potential disparities.
- Integrate gender neutral after-work events into the workplace calendar.