Role models, not gender roles: How these engineers advocate for women like them in STEM
Nicola Hills and Laura Kirwan are senior engineers at Personio. Here they explain what leaders can do to encourage women in tech careers.
It bears repeating that the tech and engineering sector does not have a good gender balance, particularly where highly paid roles are concerned.
If you’ve been following the recent coverage of the gender pay gap reports, you’ll have seen that a lot of employers have been citing the lower numbers of women employed in the sector as a reason for pay disparities between men and women.
While this may be a rather convenient excuse, there is more than a grain of truth in it. Ibec said recently that gender pay gap reporting in Ireland should be viewed only as a stepping stone to meaningful progress on the ongoing problem of not enough women in high-paying, influential tech roles.
While it is not impossible for women to get into these careers, it is acknowledged by many in the industry that it is a lot harder than it is for most men.
Women supporting women
A side effect of this lack of representation is that women who work in senior tech and engineering roles feel more of an onus to get involved in ‘rolling the ladder back down’ for other women.
Is this a blessing or a curse? For many women in tech, it’s simply an accepted part of the job.