Women In Tech: Why Are The Stats So Low?
Organisations worldwide are now finding that those providing the same opportunities to women as men are performing better. So, why are the stats so low for women in tech?
Why are the stats so low?
First of all, it’s not just within the UK, it’s a worldwide issue. The number of women in tech roles is dramatically lower than that of men, but employers are now going out of their way to right the wrongs of the past and employ more women in the sector. Due to the lack of women entering the sector and that IT and technology is deemed as a male dominated job, this is a struggle. It’s vital that these developments are made without inbuilt gender bias, as they have been in the past.
Some UK stats from womenintech
- 17% of those working in tech are women
- 1 in 6 tech specialists are women
- 1 in 10 women are IT leaders
- Growth of women working in tech has remained stagnant for the last 10 years
Organisations worldwide are now finding that those providing the same opportunities to women as men are performing better.
A study on Fortune 500 companies showed that those who had at least three women in executive roles average return on equity increased by 53% and their returns on invested capital increased by at least 66%. With these facts in mind, jobs in tech for women should improve in the future to provide a better balance of opportunities for all.
Education has a massive part to play from grassroots, offering tech related subjects to all children alongside Maths and English is now a must due to the fact that 90% of the UK workforce will require digital skills within the next 20 years, regardless of the type of work they go into. The Harvard University has seen a 34% increase in women being accepted onto their computer science course since they began actively supporting women in tech.
There are many great initiatives out there supported by both industry and government, two projects at the moment worth highlighting are:
1. TechUK’s Returners Hub provides females that are returning to employment after a break with the tools they need to understand the options available to them, to provide them with the confidence to get back into employment. The hub also serves those looking to re-enter or re-skill into the tech sector
Re-entering the workplace after a break is no mean feat, but with the support of networks, tools and businesses this can make it a lot easier.
2. The Tech Talent Charter was founded at the end of last year by TechUK and encourage all tech businesses to sign up and commit to delivering greater diversity in the UKs tech workforce to better reflect the make-up of the population.
Signatories of the charter make a number of pledges in relation to their approach to recruitment and retention and are required to provide annual workforce data to demonstrate their contribution towards the measures of success.
Female talent is vital to the health of the tech sector and all must #pressforprogress at every stage.
There is so much more that can be done, but for graduates and those looking to get into tech there are several opportunities and routes to go down through various graduate programmes and initiatives. Hackathons are also a great way of finding out more, getting a taste of the industry, meeting people and basically getting a foot in the door.
The benefits of Hackathon's
Hackathons are proving grounds for new ideas. They’re especially good tools to stimulate the creative and problem-solving abilities of individuals to find actionable solutions to concepts.
Outsiders can bring a fresh perspective to business challenges, as well as give an outside-in view of products and organisation. Engaging with participants during the hackathon is an excellent way of finding out more from those with a mixture of skills and experiences, what they love and what their ambitions are.
Overall, you get to showcase your abilities, plus there’s no right or wrong way, so it’s a no pressure, enjoyable experience.
Checkout the initiatives in your local area. Or, take a look at QA Consulting’s Hackathon's to experience a project and find out more about a career in IT.
For those women looking to join the sector
Here are some helpful tips:
- It doesn’t matter that you are in the minority
- Breakdown stereotypes
- Be the ‘Wise Fool’
- Never underestimate yourself
- Get a mentor
Just be yourself! Tech employers are now actively seeking to hire more females, as well as actively encouraging more women to choose tech careers. For now, however, being a minority as a woman in tech is just a fact so don’t let it dishearten you.
Minority status is only an issue if you let it be, so don’t focus on your minority status, focus on the fact that you are unique and have something great to contribute. Take advantage of your uniqueness and help others do the same.
It’s human nature to stereotype, we’ll never be able to stop that, but we can encourage an open-mind by breaking down the typical stereotypes that exists around people’s views of those that do work in tech and those that already work in tech to prove otherwise. Again, embrace what is individual and unique about you.
Asking those obvious questions or the ones that no one else wants to can help a project move forward, by gaining valuable information that may otherwise have been missed or sparking a conversation or thought process that leads to a great outcome. You never know—so go for it (of course within reason)!
Don’t underestimate your abilities! Take ownership for what you know and seize opportunities to showcase your skills. A confident approach makes a world of difference to your achievements.
Use your natural abilities for communicating and networking to establish a support system. Lots of successful people have mentors, they help keep us on track, provide focus and encourage you to aim high. You’ll always gain from such a relationship. Plus, that extra bit of support makes all the difference! As you progress you can help others, in sharing your experiences and knowledge – everyone is a mentor!
Inequality in the workplace is a huge issue that has been ignored for too long. The matter is perfectly summed up by multi-billionaire investor Warren Buffett. “What a waste of human talent – 50% of the population was pushed off into the corner for 200 years.”
The irony of creating solutions towards inequality in the tech industry is that it shouldn’t even be a problem. Evidence shows that those organisations which perform best are those who provide women the same opportunities as men.
Ready for a challenge?
For a rewarding career in a fast-paced industry join QA Consulting and gain internationally recognised certifications through their programme and world-leading Academy. If you are a graduate join the Graduate Programme today.
Or, you could take part in one of our Hackathon’s to experience a project and find out more about a career in IT.
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