Gender Barriers in the Tech Industry: To have a future is to have it equal
Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Written by Xyrelle C. Supremo September 16th 2021
Gender was traditionally referred to as male and female—heterosexuality, exclusively. Yet for the past years, as society evolved and so as our concepts and understanding, LGBTQIA+ and the stance of women have been widely accepted. Or so we thought.
In a rapid digital transformation of how the world works, then and now, the importance of diversity and inclusion is crucial in building an innovative society that grows in time. The efforts of different sectors in contributing to this goal are of paramount importance.
However, despite this, women make up 47% of all employed adults in the U.S., but as of 2015, they hold only 25% of computing roles, decreasing rapidly, as you may have noticed, according to data from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). Of the 25% of women working in tech, Asian women make up just 5% of that number, while Black and Hispanic women accounted for 3% and 1%, respectively.
All this, given the fact that the growth of STEM jobs has outpaced the growth of overall employment in the country. Even though we have national conversations about the lack of diversity in tech, women are disproportionately missing out on this boom. In addition, women aren’t entering technology jobs at the same rate as men — and one reason can be traced back to male-dominated workplaces. A 2017 poll in the Pew Research Center report found that 50% of women said they had experienced gender discrimination at work, while only 19% of men said the same. A lack of representation for women in tech can hinder a woman’s ability to succeed in the industry. The report found that 72% of women in tech report being outnumbered by men in business meetings by a ratio of at least 2:1, while 26% report being outnumbered by 5:1 or more. As the study points out, this gap in reporting between genders is likely in part due to a discrepancy in perception, noting that it “can be hard for those in power, or those not negatively affected, to recognize problems within the dominant culture.” The majority of women in tech (78%) also report that they feel they have to work harder than their male coworkers to prove their worth. Women in tech are also four times more likely than men to see gender bias as an obstacle to promotion (White 2021).
With this, facts undeniably presented us concrete evidence of how gender biases—specifically in regards with women and men—affects different industries within our society. Many will remain unheard of if we—the masses, stay uninformed.
A fight for a future is a fight for all.
White, Sarah “Women in tech statistics: The hard truths of an uphill battle” CIO.com, March 8, 2021, www.cio.com/article/3516012/women-in-tech-statistics-the-hard-truths-of-an-uphill-battle.html Accessed September 16, 2021