The information technology industry has made significant progress over the last few years. Unfortunately, the sector lags behind when it comes to hiring women. Decades of efforts have been put toward workplace equality, but women remain underpinned in the tech workplace. Women make up half of the world’s population, while ensuring leadership within tech companies, gender inequality can be seen clearly. Just 13 percent of the executive team in organizations is women, while 53 percent have no female executives at all.
Additionally, women hold only 5 percent of leadership positions in tech. In a recent report, over two-thirds of startups in the United States have no women at all on their board of directors. According to World Economic Forum, the global gender gap at the current rate of change will take 100 years to bridge.
Coming to investments in receiving funding from investors, there remains an embedded gender bias. In the United Kingdom, men are 59 percent more likely to secure angel investment and 86 percent more likely to be venture capital-funded in digital startups than women are. This indicates a clear disparity in venture firms. Also, only 8 percent of partners of the top 100 venture firms around the globe are women. Hence, there is a need of a systemic and sustained effort, from academics level to workplaces, in order to reinforce women into the tech profession. However, these efforts need to start early from the initial stage itself.
Reports claim that females are less likely to adopt STEM disciplines, and that lack of interest in the subject leads scarcity of women pursuing tech careers. This gender gap is largely attributed to the perception that the discipline is male dominate. Essentially, initiatives that demonstrate how technology can work for good will assist women in tech, as 50 percent of women believe the work they perform makes the world a better place is the most imperative factor while deciding their future careers.
Today, a majority of businesses are inclined towards supporting some optimistic developments in this area. For instance, Girls Who Code, a not-for-profit organization which aims to support and upsurge the number of women in computer science, supports 40,000 women in the US alone, with necessary support from AOL, Google, Microsoft, and AT&T.
Many incredible women, despite impediments, are already making tremendous leaps and bound for diversity across sectors. In this way, UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, takes an affiliation approach to expedite industry-wide change and take away the fences to women and girl’s advancement in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. This industry-wide collaboration makes sure that future innovations take a gender-responsive approach and encourage women as innovators with the shared goal of accomplishing gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Thus, encouraging the number of women in tech roles, more measures need to take at a larger scale, such as innovation culture, change management, investment, and industry-wide actions. Moreover, women themselves must deliver courage, instead of finding a support system.