It is fair to say that men dominate the world of technology. Even though women now have the same opportunities to succeed in business and continue to inspire future generations of girls to follow in their footsteps, the technology sector is still lagging behind.
Thanks to lengthy research and discussions, you can trace this scarceness back to various origins. For example, not as many girls choose to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.
Therefore, it is clear that more needs to be done to encourage women to pursue a career in technology and provide relevant opportunities. What’s more, real-life examples have proven that having a female influence at the top of leading tech companies has delivered positive results.
What can be done?
Various research studies and surveys have been conducted to find out what careers girls want to take at a young age.
According to research-based consultancy Penn Schoen and Berland (PSB), 63 per cent of teenagers have never considered a career in engineering. On top of that, the Girl Scouts of America found that just 13 per cent of girls say a STEM related career would be their first choice.
Therefore, at this stage of development, more needs to be done by teachers to educate pupils while parents should encourage their daughter to learn coding and take part in science and tech activities. Mathematics and science and their relationship with everyday technology such as smartphones and tablets must be promoted.
Explaining the future benefits of this line of work has delivered positive replies. When PSB described the monetary advantages and economic impact a career in engineering would have, 74 per cent said they would consider a job in the field.
Why do we need women in tech?
When you look at the figures, it is clear that more women are required at technology companies. Not only in terms of equality and the benefits a strong female workforce can bring, but also because women in technology have a proven track record of success. We need more girls in tech.
The Kauffman Foundation found that women-led hi-tech start-ups achieve 35 per cent higher return on investment. Furthermore, they generate 12 per cent more revenue when venture backed compared to male-owned companies. The downside is that women head up only three per cent of tech-start ups.
Even so, there are numerous success stories of women in the technology industry that can be used to persuade and push budding entrepreneurs and engineers.
Successful women in tech
Growing up in Silicon Valley with a mathematician father, it was perhaps inevitable that Renee James would end up working in technology. However, her rise to become President of Intel wasn’t always easy.
James has previously revealed she was the victim of gender bias on a few occasions. But rather than making a big deal about being a woman, James concentrated on behaviour or the issue in question.
The current President and CEO of Yahoo! is another prominent woman in the technology industry – Marissa Mayer. Google’s first female engineer and only their 20th employee worked on major projects including Gmail, Maps and the main search page.
Although Yahoo! was faltering when Mayer took the helm, the company’s fourth CEO in just four years, she has managed to turn things around with a revitalised logo and homepage as well as a handful of new apps. She has also recruited more women and acquired a host of promising start-ups, including the $1.1 billion purchase of blogging website Tumblr. A report on CNN even said that Mayer was ‘rewriting the code for women in tech’.
From these examples, it is clear to see that women can achieve success in the technology sector, but things need to change at a ground level for more girls to recognise that this industry is a genuine career choice.