It’s an issue we hope will one day be fixed; having a diverse workforce in tech. We’ve seen the same stats about gender diversity in our large corporates many times, but as a reminder: Google’s tech workers are 21.9% women, Facebook’s are 22%, and Twitter’s are 17%.
We tend to focus on these corporates when discussing diversity, because in this day and age these companies play a massive role in swaying election results, changing public opinion, and moulding the thoughts of many individuals. The more diverse our workforce, the less bias these companies will unintentionally embed into the very algorithms that shape our social media and news feeds.
Even when discussing the smaller tech companies that don’t play such a huge role in political mayhem, the more women we have in tech, the more creativity will thrive. Products will be created with everyone in mind; phones would be designed to fit into womens hands, women seeking abortions won’t be sent to adoption agencies by Siri’s glitchy algorithm, and spacesuits would fit female astronauts.
Alas, the diversity facts and figures are not in our favour! What went wrong? What’s going wrong? What can be done?
One ongoing narrative is that we don’t have enough female role models in tech, that young girls don’t have female role models to look up to or be inspired by. Studies showed that young girls that personally knew a woman in STEM were 17% more likely to feel powerful pursuing a career in STEM.
I can see where this overall narrative comes from, as even when I was getting into tech, I didn’t personally know any female role models I could look up to.
This is where every female in tech comes into the conversation; we are all role models in one way or another.
- We all shrugged off the stereotypes associated with tech roles and instead followed our heart
- We tirelessly work day in, day out, in an industry that is renowned for gender bias
- We support each other, share our success stories, and encourage our peers to make change
I truly believe that every woman in tech should feel empowered enough to call themselves a role model, and therefore share their own story.
If we can create a movement to share our story online or in conversation, we can slowly but surely spread the narrative that even though we don’t make up the majority of our tech workplaces, every one of us is a role model.