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Women in the tech industry: How can they break the glass ceiling?

Women in the tech industry: How can they break the glass ceiling?

We live in the exciting, technology-fueled future that people have dreamt about for decades, and it is happening before our eyes. The Fourth Industrial Revolution had already begun by the middle of the 20th century, but the Covid-19 epidemic accelerated it.

The proportion of college-aged women interested in computer-science programs was almost equal to that of males ten years ago, according to data on women in science. Only 37.1% of computer and information science graduates were female, whereas 62.9% were male. Then in 1984, things started to shift; the percentage of women dropped by half. As of 2010, women made up just 17.6% of students enrolled in CS and IT programs.

Companies needed to hire more people skilled in technology, adopt cutting-edge platforms, and increase the rate at which they experimented and developed new ideas. Candidates with technical expertise have an advantage over those without it when landing a job. The rise of AI promises to revolutionize every aspect of society, spawning a labor force of millions.

Male applicants with a background in technology may have an easier time finding work than their female counterparts. In 2021, males continued to hold the majority of executive positions in the IT sector.

Which are the main issues women face in Tech?

Women in IT struggled to reach their full potential before the pandemic. According to the 2021 "Women in Tech Report", Covid-19 has compounded the situation by adding home tasks and making telecommuting more difficult. 57% of women suffered work burnout, vs 36% of men. As a consequence, the pandemic caused them to lose jobs twice as fast as men.

According to some findings, women face more job hurdles and must work harder to prove themselves. "Bro culture" is still prevalent in this sector. 72% of women are outnumbered by males by 2:1 in business meetings, illustrating the pervasiveness of gender prejudice. 26% report a 5:1 male-to-female ratio.

This leads to a potential change of the situation. To put this in perspective, 82% of men and 78% of women think organizations should boost the number of women in leadership posts to help women break through. They suggest equal maternity and paternity leave, unconscious bias training, flexible scheduling, and mentorship programs.

The importance of having women in IT leadership positions

Women continue to lag after being promoted to manager, despite the notion that early promotions are critical to success. In contrast to the whole pipeline, where women hold 48% of entry-level roles and 41% of first-level manager positions, only 34% of entry-level engineering and product jobs, and 26% of first-level management positions are held by women.

When organizations don't invest in early-career women in IT, fewer are equipped for leadership roles. This affects women's lives and livelihoods and might have a negative cultural and financial effect on organizations because companies with more women in leadership roles do better financially.

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Most CEOs recognize that their companies' early-promotions policies restrict women from reaching the top of technical disciplines. Also, it is also known that most tech companies don’t track women's growth in these jobs in the first five years.

As a consequence, it’s extremely important to give women in IT the opportunity to succeed in the company’s organization. From giving early promotions to training them for leadership roles, it’s essential to give this topic a lot more attention and change things from the ground up.

How can we encourage women to enter the tech industry?

Female leadership and diversity in the workplace benefit companies and serve as role models for young women and girls who see a future for themselves in STEM fields. It is crucial to construct an environment where children see representation to counteract the attitude that conditioned women to feel they were unfit for technology.

That's why it's crucial to establish policies, programs, and openings that encourage and facilitate the success of women in technology. Leaders in the business world may help women advance their careers by using some strategies that level the playing field. To that end, we offer the following recommendations.

  • Company heads may gauge the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace by surveying staff members about their experiences.

  • Businesses may learn more about the challenges faced by women in the IT sector. They may use this information to figure out how to accommodate female workers and job candidates better.

  • Companies should actively encourage the advancement of women to senior positions within the organization.

  • Companies should provide mentoring programs and other support services to advance women in technology. That's why it's crucial to funding meaningful training and education programs.

  • Use social media to spread the word about unique and influential women leaders and tech industry mavens is essential.

  • Finally, businesses and schools may work together to raise girls' knowledge of the many options in the digital industry.

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