Opinion by Thought Leaders
Read the latest opinions from tech & business pros across the globe.

Women in Tech - Successes and Challenges

 

Digital Transformation represents a paradigm shift that is revolutionising almost every field. We have to be aware and prepared for these forthcoming changes in order to innovatively manage operations and gain benefits.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the advancement of Emerging Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain and so on. These big shifts and innovations in tech field are driving the digital workforce transformation. Several forces are changing the nature of work, such as the demand for digital skills and the emergence of new work models. It should be emphasized that, despite what many people can think, technology is going to act as an integrator and not as a replacement for skills needed: although machines will gradually become more powerful, humans will actually be even more essential.

About that, it’s important to analyze how women are involved in building the future of work. In fact, while the world of work is changing rapidly, advancements in workplace gender equality have progressed at a glacial pace. Women In Tech continue to be underrepresented and the World Economic Forum suggests that it will take 200 years to achieve workplace gender equality. It’s unfortunately true that tech is still a male-dominated world, since realities like the gender wage gap and the gender leadership gap lead to a lot of implicit bias.

The image here shows the results of a survey by Ivanti over 500 women working in technology across the globe.

As you’ll notice, being a woman in tech implies many successes. Some of the best things are: making a positive impact in organization/industry and doing a job that is never boring. But, as with any good thing, there are also many challenges involved. Among the biggest challenges emerged from the survey: being taken seriously due to gender perceptions (63% of WIT), having no female role models and gender pay gap.

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Why Women in Tech are Building a Better Tomorrow

 

More and more women are pursuing educations and careers in the STEM fields, and that is a good thing. Indeed, women in tech are building a better tomorrow, and we're going to go into why in a little bit. First, a few statistics.

A Look at the Numbers

Here are some interesting stats about women in the tech workforce, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology:

  • 57% of professional occupations in the 2018 U.S. workforce were held by women.
  • 26% of professional computing occupations in 2018 were held by women.
  • 20% of Fortune 500 CIO positions were held by women in 2018.
  • 3.5 million U.S. computing-related job openings are expected by 2026.
  • 49% of 2018 Intel Science and Engineering Fair finalists were female.

Most stats look promising, but some are actually moving backwards. For example, in 1985, 37% of computer science bachelor's degree recipients were women, compared with just 19% in 2017.

Why is this? According to a study in Entrepreneur, researchers say one reason women choose to not pursue computer science degrees is because they buy into the stereotypes about the types of people who work in the STEM field and can't picture themselves fitting into that framework.

As an aside, women should be treated like any other teammate, championing each other and giving credence to their expertise. A recent study in the Economist found that women's voices are judged more harshly than that of men. This is one barrier of many that discourages women from entering tech-heavy industries.

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