Bowling Green, Kentucky (March 22, 2021) – A trend emerges every year when Connected Nation’s staff marks Women’s History Month—stories emerge of women who have had a huge impact on technology that we use in our everyday lives.
From the world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace, to the current CEO at YouTube and one of Google’s first employees, Susan Wojcicki, women have made history in the world of high-tech. But, despite that fact, women are woefully underrepresented in the tech sector.
According to research from Deloitte Insights, women make up 47% of the U.S. labor force, but they only hold 24% of positions in the tech sector. In addition, they represent only 27% of keynote or standalone speakers at tech conferences.
The data also shows that in the field of computers and mathematical occupations in particular, women make up less than 26% of the workforce.
In American colleges and universities, only 19% of computer and information science majors are women.
To make matters worse, the tech sector may not be providing the right work environment. A 2017 poll by the Pew Research Center found that 74% of women in computing jobs said they had experienced gender discrimination in the workplace. Ensuring tech companies provide welcoming environments for both genders doesn’t just benefit women, it benefits companies.
“Diversity is critical in tech, as it enables companies to create better and safer products that take everyone into consideration, not just one section of society,” wrote Sarah K. White, Senior Writer at CIO. “Moreover, a 2020 report from McKinsey found that diverse companies perform better, hire better talent, have more engaged employees, and retain workers better than companies that do not focus on diversity and inclusion. Despite this, women remain widely underrepresented in IT roles.”
There are some positive efforts taking place to encourage young women to look at positions in tech as a possible career. Girls Who Code bills itself as “building the world’s largest pipeline of future female engineers,” and TechGirlz has a mission to inspire middle school girls to be “future technology leaders.”
Both are good examples of ways to encourage young women to explore careers they might not consider otherwise. Another is to share and pass along the stories of women who are making a mark in technology today. Such as Dawn Yankeelov, who is the Executive Director and CEO of the Technology Association of Louisville Kentucky (TALK) and who sits on the Small Business Advisory Council for the National Cyber Readiness Institute, or Sabrina Morton, who is a Change Manager for L3 Harris and has worked on everything from the president’s helicopter to fighter jets. Both were recent guests on the Connected Nation podcast and echoed the sentiment that we all should do our part to encourage young women to consider tech.
To make that easy for you, we’ve included links to organizations that are encouraging girls to explore careers in technology, as well as stories that relate to women who are taking on tech.
About the Author: Jessica Denson is the Connected Nation Director of Communications. She is responsible for overall brand strategy, which includes building program recognition through digital communications, media relations, and marketing opportunities
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