Technology has proven time and time again that its limits are boundless from Satellite Mega-Constellations to Al- Discovered Molecules, by having a career in Information Technology (IT) you too can grow with the industry. So, why is it seen as a male dominated role when the lack of diversity only averts our limits?
The gender gap begins at school where for a lot of students, this will be their only chance to learn about technology. In a tech research survey by technology leader Sheridan Ash, it was founded that only 27% of female students would consider a career in IT compared to 61% of males and, only 3% of females would choose a career in IT as their first choice (1). With such a startling difference you’ve got to wonder, why?
“Women are not being told they can’t do IT, but they are not being told they can do IT either.”
The problem is that we are only educating our students about IT at the bottom end of a spectrum. Women are not being told they can’t do IT, but they are not being told they can do IT either. We need to be voicing what kind of person you need to be to break into this field, which endears any gender and what path you could take in IT amongst all the possibilities.
IT is a vast industry but the traits that every great technology leader have in common are curiosity and innovation. With innovative ideas comes curiosity first which means if you are fascinated by the online world, a world completely adaptable at any given moment and the backbone of its orientation, then a career in IT may be for you. Look at Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. In 2010, she was the first Indian American woman who ran for congress. Despite losing, she had a continued curiosity of how she could make a difference and came up with the innovative idea to create the non-profit project, Girls Who Code, aimed at increasing the number of women in the computer science field (2). Reshma Saujani proves that by having a career in IT you won’t just be sat at a computer all day, instead, you could be making changes across a huge platform of people which will leave you with the feeling of accomplishment at the end of your working day.
Another surprising stat founded in Sheridan Ash’s survey was that 78% of students can’t name a female in IT (1). Notice the words, students. This means both male and female students are oblivious to the females working in the IT industry. The gender gap in this statistic can be closed by educating students about the phenomenal females in IT who have the power to inspire a whole range of students with their career options. With education all students will see the vision that women provide in IT is essential to devise and implement solutions for humanity’s future.