College-age female students considering majors related to technology are 27% more likely to pursue such degrees if they see other women working in that industry.
Women in tech often face difficulties ascending the ranks; 39% of engineering and IT professionals believe gender discrimination impedes them from promotion; additionally, during COVID-19’s pandemic women experienced higher rates of burnout than men.
1. The Rise of the Female Founder
Women have made incredible contributions to the tech industry. Sheryl Sandberg inspired women and others with her book Lean In, while Ginni Rometty led IBM as one of its leaders in cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
Women still face barriers when starting technology businesses; only 5-6% of high-technology entrepreneurs are women (Robb and Coleman 2009). She Loves Tech provides funds specifically designed to support female-led startups while accelerators such as Start-Up Chile offer support to these ventures.
This study’s results demonstrate that women in the tech industry often postpone motherhood until their startup has proven its viability. This finding supports a family-embeddedness view, which suggests new venture creation may be driven by fulfilling familial obligations; however, women may also desire flexible autonomy from having to care for an infant as a primary motivation behind creating their venture.
2. The Return of the Female Recruiter
Women in tech are making strides forward, yet many still face difficulty reaching the top. Women are less likely to be hired into leadership positions and may experience impostor syndrome when finally hired for employment.
Some solutions for this include encouraging young girls to pursue STEM careers and offering mentorship, while improving work-life balance by encouraging flexible working arrangements or offering sabbaticals for senior team members.
Companies must also address bias during the hiring and promotion processes by revising job descriptions, using rubrics to evaluate candidates, and treating all individuals equally. This will make workplace more welcoming to women in tech by giving them confidence that their performance will be assessed fairly; and help reduce disproportionate numbers of men in higher-level positions.
3. The Return of the Female Mentor
Women working in tech can greatly benefit from having a mentor, particularly in industries known for lacking gender diversity. A mentor can provide confidence-boosting advice while building networks.
Mentorship can also play an essential role in developing leadership abilities. Mentors provide invaluable role models and guidance as mentees explore different roles and build their network.
Mentoring women entering male-dominated fields like engineering and computer science can be particularly helpful. But having both female and male mentors can also provide great value in terms of new perspectives, approaches to problem solving, decision making strategies, collaboration techniques and different ways of viewing decision making processes.
4. The Return of the Female Employee
Gender parity within teams is one of the primary considerations female tech talent weigh when selecting an employer. Companies who actively promote equality within their workplace, including offering pay equity reviews, fair hiring practices, and skill-based promotions tend to attract and retain female tech talent more effectively.
Women, too, look forward to development opportunities and promotion prospects; yet many encounter obstacles that can impede their progression in tech – like needing time off for caregiving obligations or feeling like an outsider in the industry.
Recruiters should recognize that female employees face specific career-progression obstacles and must address them as a top priority. One such means is returnships, which allow women to resume their careers after taking time out due to children or personal circumstances.
5. The Return of the Female Manager
Women in tech aren’t being promoted into leadership positions at the same rate as their male counterparts in the industry, due to a variety of factors such as mentorship issues, the prevalence of “bro culture” at tech companies, and an inherent bias against female employees.
To combat these issues, companies should promote women in their departments and offer more opportunities for advancement within their company. They should also encourage gender equality discussions on social media and at conferences.
Companies should encourage male managers to help elevate women in the industry, as well as female employees asking for promotions or higher pay when necessary – thus helping to narrow the gender gap within tech.