As a man, and a feminist, I have plenty of personal reasons to feel passionate about the importance of women’s involvement in all technology related fields. However, I think there is a much simpler and stronger position to take, and that is from the perspective of understanding the importance of innovation and the basic idea that by not being an advocate for women in tech, I am also not advocating for 50% of the minds that could change the world. From a simple math perspective, I would be a fool not to advocate for anything but this!
If you are a boy or a man, and you aren’t shocked about the low percentage of girls and women in tech, you should be.
If you are a boy or a man, and you aren’t shocked about the low percentage of girls and women in tech, you should be, and speaking for all men, we should make it a priority to change that in 2018 and beyond. If you are a girl or a woman reading this, I’m guessing you already are advocating for more women in tech, but in case you aren’t, you should be too.
By not making it a priority, we are not giving 50% of the potential innovative minds an even chance to save the world from X.
It matters more than you may realise:
- Like I mentioned, above, by not making it a priority, we are not giving 50% of the potential innovative minds an even chance to save the world from X. For example, this means a 50% less chance of finding the cure for cancer, or for removing Co2 from the atmosphere.
- Computer Science and tech jobs, in general, are among the fastest growing and highest paying careers in the world. Every household will benefit from a higher overall income and the ripple effect of this on a local economy is significant. This means your entire neighborhood will benefit from your sister, mother, or daughter being in tech (assuming she is happy with her job!).
- Speaking of jobs, there are more jobs than workers! There is a shortage of talent, and all the girls and women who are not in tech, but could be, represent a pool of untapped talent. Any entrepreneur starting a tech business should look forward to his or her need for talent once their company grows. By encourage more women to be in tech, every tech business hiring down the road will be better off.
So, the question quick moves away from why it’s a good idea, and to, how can we change this and encourage more girls, and women to get involved in the tech scene? Places like M.O.B. are excellent at helping to promote these ideas with workshops like “Hack(night) by Women who Code“, but unfortunately, there is not a MOB in every neighborhood, even though perhaps someday there can and will be!
Teaching styles can be adjusted to be more attractive to females.
We can start tackling this issue simply by working to change the perception of girls and women who would be eager to jump into a tech career, but don’t. Why don’t they? It’s mainly because of a lack of encouragement and perception that it’s a viable option for them. Teaching styles can be adjusted to be more attractive to females, and boys and men can become bigger advocates to change the overall workplace culture so that it becomes an easier choice for girls and women to move into the field. If you are a guy, talk to a girl about why they should consider a career in tech. If you own a tech firm, make it part of your company culture to make your workplace optimized for new women in tech, and encourage your male employees to advocate to women they know about it.
Women must understand, without a doubt that there is a possibility for them to have a career in tech, the same way any man might.
Fixing this problem of gender inequality in tech can be as simple as an ongoing focus on encouragement and working to build awareness in others about why this is a problem they should care about. Women must understand, without a doubt that there is a possibility for them to have a career in tech, the same way any man might. It should not be about sex, but about hard work and natural ability. Beyond all the other subtle cultural changes to the workplace, and degree program teaching styles, I believe focusing on a change in thinking alone should never be underestimated.
Anyone who has worked in tech understands that prior experience cannot be mistaken for ability. Some minds pick things up, and make realisations that cannot be predicted, or expected. We must include all possible female minds in this equation!