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Are women breaking the glass ceiling in tech?


History was made when Hillary Clinton got on stage to deliver her speech for the presidential nomination acceptance. The video playing behind her literally showed a cracked glass ceiling emphasizing that finally one of the biggest glass ceilings in the world had been broken and it was a new era which promised greater equality for both genders.

While for women it is a moment to rejoice, it is also a moment of perspective. It is finally time when the USA might get its first female president, but what is the state of equality in the industry, especially the most lucrative industry of all, the tech industry?

The glass ceiling in tech

For an industry that by its very fabric is a fast progressing one, appears to have some very old school sexism. This sexism was brought to light when last year a sexual discrimination case was filed by Reddit boss Ellen Pao against her former employer, venture capitalist Kleiner Perkins. Facebook and Twitter were also embroiled in lawsuits which claimed that lack of promotion based on gender.

Baroness Martha Lane-Fox, the lady behind the unique e-store selling “deals” (valued at USD 1.1bn when it first floated its shares on the London Stock Exchange in 2013) said that it was no secret that 98% of the code that the internet was built on was written by men. She was quick to point that out while some women have made huge progress in tech, like Marissa Mayer went out to head Yahoo, or Sheryl Sanderberg at Facebook, they were far and few.

Even Google which prides itself on being progressive had a workforce in 2013 that was 70% male. The same is the case with other tech giants like Amazon and Apple. By reviewing their data we can see that these companies are predominately male and white. It is very clear that the tech may be made to be accessible to all, but workforce in tech is quite exclusive.

How can you get more women to work in tech?

Besides discrimination there is also the problem of the sector’s reputation. It has gotten a bad reputation for not being female-friendly.

So what can you do to overcome this? Google for one has stepped up and has easily admitted their lack of diversity and also stated that they do plan to work on it. They have invested good sums of money into making their recruitment process more diversified.

Also it is how the industry has been marketed. It is often marketed as a place where geeky white men work and prosper; making tech firms a secondary career option for many women. The tech sector also needs to work on its marketing skill and show that it is willing to be more inclusive.


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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