Are technology companies improving the gender balance in the workplace?
An increasing number of new jobs created is coming from the technology industry and it’s really easy to see why. Technology is in every aspect of our lives and more importantly it is embedded in every aspect of every business. Companies and people alike become increasingly more dependent on technology for their operational and strategic decisions. Despite the surge of jobs being created, women tend to be under-represented in the sector and basically absent from the leadership table.
I had this conversation with a few people now and it reminds me of the chicken and the egg conundrum (as far as the traditional dilemma is concerned, the egg obviously came first, but that is a conversation for another time). Let’s ask ourselves, what came first, women in the tech workplace or the initiatives to bring women in the tech workplace? I had the fortune to work in companies that have a healthy ratio between men and women employees and I can see that women tend to advocate and drive the initiatives that attract more women.
What has really made a difference so far in my opinion was the industry shift to be more inclusive when hiring people. Women are less likely to choose a STEM degree at university level for whatever socio-political reasons that I will not speculate on. In the past, this prevented them from applying for a career in technology due to the job description criteria. Technology companies have identified how this excluded certain groups of the population and have been open to accepting applications from other degrees as well (I mean, what we do best at tech is identifying a problem and coming up with a solution). The core driver behind this change was the realisation that technology is not just about writing code, there are more aspects of it where different types of people can excel at: business analysis, data analysis, user experience, design, project management all the way up to titles that start with a capital C, just to name a few.
Technology is quite a fun, creative and interesting sector to work in. The challenges that a woman can face in technology are quite similar to challenges that are likely elsewhere; someone might talk over you in a meeting, or a person might underestimate your capabilities. For every bad apple, there are at least ten people that will be supportive and will push for your success by providing their time and help. At the end of the day and at the core of each tech company is a group of adorable nerds that have fun in their own way and more women are most certainly welcome to the tribe.
Read Stephanie’s interview on #WomenInIT by Ideal here: https://www.ideal.co.uk/blog/women-it-stephanie-stylianou