Today is International Women’s Day, which is shining a spotlight on the achievements of women around the world and a chance for organizations across the globe to show support for women’s advancement. We’re taking a look at women in tech. The organizers of the Women’s March on Washington have created “The Day Without a Woman,” a general strike. It’s the latest in a series of strikes aimed at protesting the policies and sympathies of the Trump administration, preceded by last month’s “Day Without an Immigrant” and the massive New York City bodega strike. But how do women rate in the tech and digital world? Do they have any prominence in the industry and is there hope for women to succeed?
According to the Department of Labor, only 26 percent of people employed in computer and mathematics jobs are women. And a big chunk of that 26 percent comes from outside Silicon Valley.
While men still dominate these fields, it’s not because women can’t be in this space. As an incentive, I’d like to look at some of the positive women influences in the digital world right now. And discuss how women can take action.
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Visit Women in Technology on Twitter @WITWomen
Not-for-profit organization aimed at providing women in the technology field with networking and professional development opportunities
GirlsWhoCode on Twitter and their website.
We’re a national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology.
A writer from the publisher “The Drum” interviewed a few women in digital and these are their suggestions to move the needle.
Sarah Jordan, a digital transformation consultant who has spearheaded digital change within Oxfam and the MS Society, said: “Explaining all the different careers that ‘digital’ covers would be a great starting point, as many people don’t realize the full range and how creative and ‘people-focused’ the jobs can be; not just involving coding or technical skills.
“More buddying and mentoring schemes would be really helpful, particularly for women in the middle of their careers to help them progress to more senior and leadership positions. We need more female role models at every level in digital to help show the benefits to those thinking about coming into the industry.
“Greater flexibility from employers to help women get into new roles and gain experience, as well as move around within them, would also help.
Sally Anderson, a lead digital consultant at Code, suggests: “Highlighting and celebrating women who are already in the industry, especially in the more technical roles, is a positive move the industry can make as it’s not always obvious from an outsider looking in at how many women may be behind a company, discipline or movement.”
So what can I do?
A first step to tackling the issue is by creating inclusive environments. Some simple ways to achieve this will be by:
- Ensure diversity is on the business agenda with leadership commitment.
- Collating business data to develop a true understanding of the workforce.
- Celebrate success stories that represent diversity and share them.
- Support and promote networking events that advocate diversity in our industry.
- Provide real-world knowledge and experiences in schools, colleges and universities, raising the profile of STEM industries and careers.
- Join a movement – WomeninTechCampaign.com See here.