The tech industry has been long dominated by males, with women only representing an average of 30% of the industry. In 1984, 37% of all computer-science graduates were women. Today, this number is only 18%.
The U.S. Department of Labor projects that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer specialist job openings. In order to obtain gender equality in this field, women must fill half of these roles. So, what is the importance of closing this gap? Well, in a new study, more than 4,200 public companies reported that women with “strong female leadership” had a 36.4% greater return on equity over a five-and-a-half year period than companies without many women at the top of the organization.
So how can we make this possible?
While there are no shortages of great female role models in the healthcare, science, and research industries, there is a definite lack of female mentorship available to women wanting to pursue careers in technology.
Having a mentor to navigate through tough times in school, a male dominated workplace, or career planning, can greatly benefit women (and everyone). We need more role models in this area to act as a positive influence and inspire interest in the tech industry.
In order for businesses to see more women pursuing technology they must be exposed to it long before college. It's critical to intoduce young women to STEM career opportunities and show them examples of the successes coming from women in technology careers in order for them to value a career in technology. Although these may seem like minor actions: mentorships, interactive technology classes, and online learning programs are all ways we can help make technology more attractive to women. However, we must not forget the most important learning experience is through illustrating the need for women and the positive impact they would have on transforming the tech world.