Why Women? : A question which we are bound to ask!
According to the statistics, “The yearly growth of women in business has been 4.2% in the last 12 years.”
What does it mean to be a Woman?
According to the article which is a part of 100 Women in the year, it states, “Woman remains a useful shorthand for the entanglement of feminity and social status regardless of biology- not as an identity, but as the name for an imagined community that honours the female, enacts the feminine and exceeds the limitation of a sexist society.”
As we go on a hunt to find the definition of what it means to be a woman, we get millions and millions of perspectives, leading to millions and millions of definitions.
Gratefulness, admiration, empathy are a few of the words used to describe a woman. To be a woman is to be a soldier loaded with a lot of arms and ammunition.
And to a woman, the arms and ammunition mean, their skills, support from their family and loved ones in whatever they are willing to do, their freedom, their motivation, the respect which they get by following their own dreams and shine wherever they are and the security which they receive while walking on the journey for fulfilling their dreams and wishes.
When it comes to education to a woman, or a girl or whatever the society wants it to term, don’t you think they also want to earn the highest degree they are dreaming for? Don’t you think they want to do something innovative in the field of tech?
Don’t you think they want to run their own business? Don’t you think they want to be their own role model?
When it comes to woman, why does everyone need to give a second thought? Why don’t we treat everyone normal?
It’s not easy to be a woman. Some might say, they are meant to be the ones who must tolerate all that happens to them whether it be their menstrual cycle or the pain they face during their labour. But, just give it a thought! Is it easy for them? Don’t they need the support to carry on, and assuring hand to hold when they are in pain, blessings from their loved ones to move on.
Take a moment of pause and just give it a thought!
Let’s talk about the differences:
This technology field has always been heavily dominated by men, leading to women having only occupied 25% of positions in the industry. Multiple factors play a huge role in women lagging in the field of technology.
The first and foremost reason behind it is the ability of women to pursue their education free of discrimination in the STEM field i.e. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. If we look back into history, we find that only from the 1970s it has been a form of legal right for women to pursue their education in STEM.
The second reason for this gender-based gap is Payment. Women get significantly less paid almost by 28% compared to their male counterparts and even receive fewer promotion positions. Despite being as qualified and even some accomplishing higher degrees, they are paid less.
Still, some companies have the thought of, “ Most jobs require the suit for accomplishing the job, not skirts.” Being the victim of this stigma, most women are likely to leave this tech field.
Despite facing such major challenges, women are not giving up. They are still fighting, still changing the total landscape of the tech field.
Women and Technology: A relationship yet to be formed with a strong bond
37% of computer scientists were women back in 1995, and today it’s only 24%!
The relationship between Women and Technology has not been on good terms because of different factors present in the background. Women are trying their best but are not able to rise and shine as per the input they are giving in this field.
If we focus on the data which has been provided by different statistics, the tech world is still the man’s world, a woman is still thriving to rise to the point where the men in the tech field are. The reasons behind these statistics include lack of enough female mentors, gender inequality in STEM jobs, and not having enough hands-on experience with STEM subjects.
If we see the women’s perspective they aren’t looking for something different than men, and if it is believed to be, that’s a stereotype.
Michelle Bailey, global vice president, general manager and research fellow at IDC says, “Men are actually looking for more paternity leave, flex time, work-life balance. Everyone wants to be paid fairly, they want flexibility, they want meaningful work. Tech is quite mature now, so everyone understands that if you’re working eighty hours a week, something’s wrong.”
How can women take technology to the forefront?
As per the data provided by the National Science Foundation, more women than ever are earning STEM degrees and they are catching up to men in earning bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering subjects. But, if we isolate by field of study, women earned only 19% of computer science degrees at the bachelor level in 2016, compared to 27% in 1997.
As women have a lot of uniquely inherited qualities like holding different perspectives, the practice of empathy, able to multitasking etc that they can use to their maximum benefit for taking technology to the forefront.
Why must the tech industry hire women?
The top 3 reasons why the tech industry must hire women are mentioned below:
- For creating diversity and increasing revenue
Companies that hire women and even retain more women to put themselves in a higher position automatically gain a competitive advantage, a benefit that extends to all stakeholders. Bringing diversity into the workplace leads to more and better innovation and improved financial performance in both developing and developed economies.
One of the studies showed that the companies with the greatest gender diversity generated about 34% of their revenues from innovative products and services in the most recent three-year period.
- For bringing new insights
As nature has gifted different qualities to men and women. This leads to sharing a different perspective and gives event better outcomes for a particular idea as well as leads to better problem-solving. These results boost the performance level at the business unit level.
- Generation of Role Models
We hear a lot of famous names like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. And when it comes to notable names for female, it really takes time to think about it and answer. Being a woman in the field of technology is not always easy, moreover, if you are the single lady in the boardroom makes the situation full of pressure.
At those times, if you have your role model in mind who faced a similar situation would give you a boost of confidence and help you to give your best.
So, the companies must think about it and bring the women to the senior roles so that you give the world an example that women can also succeed and land in the higher roles.
Role models always make a huge difference and impact in everyone’s life. It ensures one that they are doing the right thing and are walking on the right path.
In the workplace, every worker wants the same things, whether it be a man or a woman, i.e. fair pay, flexibility, and the ability to work on the projects they are passionate about and give their 100%.
If every tech company promises to offer growth potentials, boasts successful female role models on their peculiar leadership teams, then they’ve got the formula to lead one of the best company in the world, which will for sure attract the right person, hire the great personalities that are available today.
Projects launched just for women/girls for leading them in the world of digitization and programmings
As we are in the century where everything is digitized, where everything comes to play only by just a click of the button, where skills matter more than the degree you earn!
From many years ago, there are a lot of women who are dreaming the dream of making every single girl child ahead in the field of technology. Many women even sacrificed their life for making this dream come true. There are still many clubs, organizations running with this theme of making every single girl code with confidence and bringing them along with where the boys have reached.
Without giving much importance to what society or who else will think what; breaking the stereotypes, here are some of the projects which are launched in the global, as well as a local platform holding the mission of making every single girl child code and bring them along with where the technology has reached, are mentioned below :
It is one of the leading organization that prepare female and non-binary students to step boldly into careers powered by technology. As we can see on their homepage, they recognize that there are ample opportunities for careers in tech and they have made it their mandate to prepare girls to innovate, lead and explore.
It believes that going to the classroom each day just for the career isn’t easy, there a lot of things yet to discover, a lot of things yet to navigate and it isn’t exactly crystal clear where to begin.
So to solve that problem, they help girls by providing one-on-one relationships with expert advisors, an invitation to events which is designed to develop tactical skills, and access to a network of the best in tech and beyond.
The program was launched with 150 girls but has the goal of including more than 20,000 girls by the end of 2020.
Girls Who Code is an organization that values diversity, equity and inclusion as essential to our mission. It is a US-based program that has taught over 40,000 girls to code to date. They offer both school clubs which are open to 6th to 12th-grade school girls and summer immersion programs for 10th to 11th-grade girls which take place at leading technology companies.
With locations in 42 states, they are driven by the single-mandate to close the gender gap in the technology sector.
It is an organization whose vision is to, “Increase the number of women of colour in the digital space by empowering girls of colour ages 7–17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology. “
It is a not-for-profit organization that has been set out to empower girls and women in developing countries and have been helping to accelerate progress within their communities. Taking inspiration from the United Sustainable Development Goals they have their mission as the following:
- Support girls and women’s access to quality education and vocational training.
- Create employment, revenue generation and professional career opportunities for women.
- Promote avenues that give women a voice in society, politics and governance institutions.
- Protect women and girls’ physical and psychological integrity.
They are a local group for women and men despite the fact being more inclined towards shaping the future of women, meeting face-to-face and gadget-to-gadget in a non-alpha languages supportive environment and creating great things.
Their service is dedicated to education, advocacy and mentorship and their main aim is to increase the number of women engineers in both industry and academia.
An organization that aims to see every person be accepted, confident and valued in the tech just as they are. It started with an idea: “ There is a strong, smart and outspoken girl within all of us. And we want to make sure the voices of each girl to be heard.
Their service is dedicated to building the diverse and inclusive tech force which the world needs.
It is a not-for-profit organization that lets women be recognized, respected and even included in actions affecting their lives. It is a portal for women where they seek real change, enduring change that happens one at a time. It is a home for women where she learns, grows, and inspires.
There are a lot of other organizations like Women In Technology, Women In Big Data, etc who are working harder as they can carrying the same mission of uplifting the status of the girl in the field of science and technology.
Message to Take:
At the end of the day, we need more women in this field who are willing to take higher positions in leadership and are willing to fight for what they deserve. And also we need men who are willing to take on more household responsibilities and employers who are ready to embrace a more flexible and adaptable workspace.
If we can acquire these slight changes then for sure we will have a globally connected world as well as companies that will be more diverse and for sure land into the successful ones.
If we see the condition of our country and what the mentors have to say about this, we see according to the New Business Age article, Pramila Rijal, president of SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council (SCWEC) says, “ Nepali women entrepreneurs have not broken the glass ceiling yet, but, they have already made the first cracks. There is still a lot of issues that still need to be improved: access to finance, gender-responsive policies, family barriers and deconstructing stereotypes about women entrepreneurs.”
As a woman myself, the things which I have learned from my personal experience is that to fight and walk forward on this journey of breaking the stereotype, we must cultivate self-love, self-awareness and confidence.
Nothing can happen overnight, we have a long journey to take and to walk into that journey we must not forget what are we fighting for and the love which we have for ourselves. We must work in a way so that the coming generation does not have to linger around with the thought, “ Why Women?!”
This article is also published in the shequal foundation blog!