Technology: it’s a man’s world, and it looks like that is slow to change. Women are integral players in today’s working world, but the technology sector has not caught up with the progressiveness of other industries. While women do contribute to a majority of the workforce holding 57 percent of jobs, that number is immensely smaller in the technology sector. For example, women in the U.S. held only 26 percent of computing jobs in 2013, down from 35 percent in 1990. These numbers are baffling to comprehend, especially given that women are the lead adopters of technology! Yes, it’s true, according to 2012 research by Intel’s Genevieve Bell, women are the fastest-growing and largest number of users of Skype, use most social media sites more often, and are the majority of owners of tech devices.
It seems there is a significant differentiation of gender roles in technology as early as high school. According to statistics, in 2010, while 56 percent of Advanced Placement test-takers were female, women only accounted for 19 percent of test-takers on AP Computer Science. Are bias’ and our environmental factors weighing in on women’s decisions to pursue a career in technology? Fortunately, if this is the case, there are resources popping up to help support women who wish to pursue technological studies.
Programs specializing in technological studies for women are creating more opportunities where there previously were few. MIT offers a summer program specifically for female high school students to explore engineering through hands- on classes, labs, and team-based projects. Also, Women In Technology (WIT) are leading the program Girls in Technology (GIT) to help inspire and create awareness for girls in grades 6-12 interested in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The opportunities for women in technology are boundless, and with awareness and informative programs, we can help create a smaller gender gap in this industry. What do you think? Are there other ways we can bridge this gap? Comment below; we’d love to hear from you!