What is the percentage of the women workforce in the tech industry? Why are women underrepresented in tech circles? How do we increase the participation of women in STEM related fields? Questions such as these have gathered a lot of concern over the years since many companies are seriously striving for a balanced and diverse workforce.
And, this is for a good reason! Are you aware of the percentage of women in the IT industry? Today, it is 26% despite all the technological disruption that has impacted our lives in the last few years.
Though the numbers have definitely increased in the last decade, it is clear that the tech industry and other STEM related fields are yet to find balance in gender ratio.
For many women, technology is not the first choice when it comes to building a sustainable and rewarding career even in 2021. So, what exactly is stopping women from choosing a career in tech? Well, the reasons are many like lack of employability skills, lack of flexibility and common perceptions at the workplace.
One of the major reasons could be the notion attached to tech as being male-dominated. The mindset of people needs to change which can only be possible with the right kind of awareness.
With work-from-home being the new normal, there will be flexibility in work. The new-age technologies like AI, ML, Robotics and IoT are disrupting the industry and opening up a plethora of opportunities. Will all this change the scenario in the tech industry? Will it encourage more women to a career in tech?
Initiatives to encourage women to choose a career in technology or STEM
It is heartening to learn that India, despite being a developing country, has one of the highest percentages of women entering STEM education in the world. As per research by Mastercard, in India, 93% of girls between the age of 12 to 14 years consider STEM-related careers early on. However, the number of women goes down as they grow into college and goes further down while entering the workforce.
In India, many companies are making conscious efforts to bring in diversity and gender balance by encouraging women in many ways. For instance, IBM India collaborated with many state governments for a STEM for Girls programme with an aim to encourage over two lakh girls to enter STEM.
Mastercard’s global has been conducting its Girls4Tech program for the last six years. Similarly, TalentSprint’s Women Engineers (WE) program in support of Google aims to build world-class women engineers for the global tech industry.
Also read: Registrations for Women Engineers (WE) program by TalentSprint and Google open now! https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/registrations-for-we-program-by-talentsprint-and-google-open-now/
To increase the number of women in leadership positions, major technology companies are organizing mentorship programs. Accenture India’s Grow Women in Leadership program provides personalized coaching and networking opportunities.
The importance of diversity in the tech industry
With a very low percentage of women in the sector, the tech industry has major diversity issues which are critical for growth. Women bring unique ideas to the workplace and help companies create better and safer products.
Despite being underrepresented, the women workforce in IT and STEM are proving themselves and bringing the much-needed diversity of thoughts to the organization. Their unique way of thinking helps organizations to outperform and generate more revenue.
In fact, for the last few years, it has been proved that companies with female leaders have shown consistent performance and generated better revenues. Women leaders can bring powerful changes to the company and they can also inspire many young women.
While the number of women in the middle management and leadership position is not great, there are few women leaders who have broken all the barriers and proved how women can do wonders when entrusted with leadership roles. Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM is one such inspiration for women who want to pursue careers in the IT industry. She is the first woman to lead tech giant Intel India, MAIT (Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology), and now NASSCOM.
Have you ever heard anyone saying men in tech? So why are there terms like women in tech, girls who code, Women Engineers program? There is indeed a need for awareness creation to increase the number of women in tech. Skill-building in the latest technology coupled with a flexible and inclusive workplace can help women to work and grow.
Author: Purvi Shah | Senior Director | Talent Sprint | For more information please visit: https://talentsprint.com/