I recently read an article, “The Myth Women in Tech Need to Stop Believing,” on fortune.com. Even though we think we’ve gotten rid of the glass ceiling, it is still very much there. Only 1 in 4 women hold STEM jobs, despite making up half of the population. If we want to have determined, hard-working employees in the future, we must empower women and make them believe they can do anything men can do.
Gender inequality is still in the workforce, no matter what field you’re in, even though it has improved over the years. Research from the Clinton Foundation: No Ceilings, shows that women earn the majority of all undergraduate degrees in America, but earn only 18% of computer science degrees. Women in Tech face multiple barriers, including a limit in women’s leadership opportunities. Too many people focus on socio-economic factors, such as sex, race, etc. instead of the talent.
SELF Magazine partnered up with the Clinton Foundation for an event called “What Works for Women Leaders in Technology”. Some of the key themes included:
- Closing the Imagination Gap
- Women are vastly underrepresented in STEM education and careers.
- “We know that for so many, the image that comes to mind when we think of technology is someone who looks more like Mark Zuckerberg than looks like most of you sitting in the audience today.” -Chelsea Clinton
- Defining what is means to be in “Tech”
- “Five of our best-performing portfolio companies, our investments as venture capitalists, were founded or run by women…and none of those women are what you would consider ‘technical.’ -Andrew Siegel
- Identifying & Embracing Multiple Identities
- “I am not just a woman. I am not just a person of color. I have all of these identities. That gets messy for people who are used to looking at a person who looks different from me who’s running a different type of company.” -Kiah Williams
- Forging Partnerships with Men
- “Some of the mentors I have in life are men. And my two cofounders are men. And I think bringing allies into the space, making them feel comfortable being uncomfortable, is important.” -Kiah Williams
- Creating a Culture of Equality (which I enjoyed the most)
- Women leaders can change societal perceptions at large by making their own corporate cultures family-friendly. It not only fosters greater happiness in the workplace; it closes the divide of family responsibilities and “the second shift” so often shouldered by women.
It is up to all of us to build a future where men and women can be equally seen in the tech world.