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Why are the stats on women in tech actually getting worse?


When we talk about technology jobs and careers, we don’t find many women working in this field. Despite all the attention being paid to tech and diversity, the gender gap in tech is getting worse. Mostly, young girls are often misguided that technology isn’t girly. And it’s a boy’s thing, as they have come up with terms such as, ‘boys’ club’ and ‘brogrammers’ for a reason.

According to a survey conducted by Girls Who Code, without a broad-based strategy that ignites girls’ interest in computing from middle school through college, the percentage of women in computing will fall from 24% to 22% in 2025. That’s already a big drop from 37% in 1995.

This is quite worrisome if girls are not even taking computer majors, there’s likely to be a gender gap in the tech field.

Although, there are many other reasons contributing to the lack of women in the tech field. I have compiled a list of those, along with some insights and solutions.

1. The decrease in women graduates with computer science major:

The number of women graduating with computer science degrees has gradually decreased in the last three decades. Girls in middle school show interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), but only a small number of high school girls choose computer science as a major.  Back in 1984, 37% graduates of computer science were women but today, only 12% of computer science degrees by women have emerged.

Women contribute to a major part of the country’s workforce, and only a small percentage of them works in computing fields. This means, most of the country’s technology careers go unfilled, resulting in the downfall of the economy.

The website, Girls Who Code, collaborates with non-profit organizations to work for the betterment of women who have an interest in technology jobs. They’ve developed a new model of computer science education that brings together robotics, web design, and mobile development with mentorship from women in the said fields.

2. Not enough women role models in tech:

Girls look up to their role models, we have a number of women role models in entrepreneurship and other fields but there’s a significant lack of women role models in technology. Only 23.5% of computer science degrees were awarded to women last year in one of the biggest universities in the States. Some seniors found that they knew of few female computer scientists working in the professional world. This can be a reason why girls aren’t interested in this field as much.

This can be changed as well, female representation should not be lacking in any field, especially, the ever growing area of technology.  The seniors at Stanford have come up with an organization which dedicates itself in telling stories of women who work in programming, the SHE++ aspire women to take up arms in the technology field and to connect with women in this field as well.

So they decided to start she++, an organization dedicated to telling the stories of women in programming, pairing mentors with aspiring female computer scientists, and creating events where women in the field could connect.

The organization started with a conference featuring women in computer science and has since expanded to include a documentary, fellowship for high school students, and mentorship program. She++ is also collecting the stories of successful women programmers in a video library, so women across the Internet can get inspired. Some interviews on She++ include Brina Lee, the first female engineer at Instagram; Allison Korczynski, an electrical engineer at Microsoft; and Yael Shrager, head of product navigation at Palantir, a computer software company.

This is a wonderful initiative for women to learn and get inspirations from women engineers.

3. Women aren’t encouraged to be tech entrepreneurs and can face extra institutional challenges:

This rounds up to the above-mentioned problems, women aren’t really encouraged to work in tech, much less as an entrepreneur. They face more challenges than your regular tech boss.

“Women-led tech companies achieve 35% higher return on investment, and, when venture-backed, bring in 12% more revenue than male-owned tech companies,” Google recently pointed out. “Yet women are still underrepresented in startup communities. We think there are substantive ways to be more inclusive.”

Google has kept up to their promise; the company launched an initiative which allows and encourages female entrepreneurs to excel in this field. The main mission is to evolve the female representation in tech by changing the ratio and working towards advancing the quality of their business. “Ms. Tech” helps women to pitch their ideas to investors and dedicate time to their business while working another job. It helps them to create a network that can help along the way.

4. Minority women face gender barrier, as well as, a racial barrier in getting tech jobs:

A minority of women face gender and a racial barrier to getting a foot in the door in these fields. If the percentage of women is lower in tech jobs, the percentage of WOC is even lower. The gender pay gap is bad, but the racial barrier is worst in these tech jobs. There needs to be a change in that mindset.  Girls from underrepresented backgrounds need to come up in the picture, and they need to be taught social media, gaming, robotics, and software development skills. So, they can emerge and work in tech without any difficulty.

We need more talent in the technology field, as it the ever-growing field in the States. And there are 80% jobs available in the STEM areas, which means, more opportunities for women.  It is crucially important to get more women into tech roles, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea if the teachers start to encourage young girls to take interest in such fields.

About Zyana Morris

Zyana Morris is a passionate Health and Lifestyle blogger who is most interested in writing topics related to wellness and Lifestyle.

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