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For International Women’s Day 2018 eJIGSAW discuss gender equality, women in tech, and the #PressforProgress.
We spoke to our Front-End Developer, Frances Massie, about being a woman in the technology industry and gender equality for International Women’s Day 2018 (#IWD2018).
Today is International Women’s Day, a day celebrated across the globe to highlight women’s achievements and to push for gender equality. It also takes on more significance this year as 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (albeit only the 40% who owned property). Nevertheless, it was a huge step forward for women’s’ rights and even though we’ve come incredibly far since then, there is still much progress to be made.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, in the UK only 23% of people working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) careers are women, and only 27% of female students would consider a career in the technology industry. There are 1.64 million jobs in digital tech and the digital sector has been growing and creating jobs twice as fast as the non-digital sector, yet women are being left behind.
So why are so few women considering careers in technology fields?
Personally speaking, when I was in school, I didn’t even know that it was an option for me. Having such a lack of female role models reinforces the stereotype that tech is a ‘man’s job’. When 66% of students can name a famous male working in the field, yet only 22% of students can name a famous female working in the field, it’s difficult to see it as a viable career option. With a tiny 5% of leadership positions in the tech industry held by women, the glass ceiling looks almost unbreakable.
Being as male-dominated as it currently is, STEM industries can be tough for women to work in. With some people, you’re having to battle against well-ingrained stereotypes and it can often be a fight to prove yourself just as or more capable than your male counterparts. There are moments when it does get to you and you doubt yourself, but it’s important to keep motivated and #PressForProgress.
Be a Role Model!
Where you may not have had that role model when you were young, perhaps you could be that role model to someone else. Where you didn’t know of career opportunities for women in tech industries, work to promote the idea amongst the next generation of young women, show them that STEM is not just for men; encourage them to see it as a real career for them.
It’s for purposes such as these that things like International Women’s Day are so vital. It helps empower women to challenge gender inequality and fight for greater representation in all areas of life. Simply checking out #codelikeagirl on twitter or reading articles on Women in STEM, you can see all the advances being made to get women and girls interested in STEM careers, showing them that it is very much possible for them to thrive and succeed in the industries.
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, it will take more than 200 years to achieve gender parity. That’s a tough fact to process. However, the more we inspire people, both men and women, to #PressForProgress, the quicker we can bring about gender equality and create a more inclusive society.
Want to work for a company with a passion for gender quality? Head over to our careers page to find out if we have any roles that we have available!