It’s time for a more practical approach to gender diversity
The need to address the under-representation of women within technology roles shouldn’t still be an ongoing conversation, but unfortunately it is. There is, however, new urgency to address this, which is in part connected to the current speed of technological change. Those technology businesses that have embraced diversity are best able to adapt to change, see the opportunity and evolve – and those that haven’t are left trailing behind.
The problem starts in education. According to the UNESCO report Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in STEM, only 35 per cent of STEM students in higher education globally are women. There is a raft of reasons why, from the perpetuation of stereotypes about the subjects girls study right through to a lack of positive encouragement from teachers to help girls pursue STEM subjects.
This lack of representation ultimately leads to a lack of women in technology roles. Overall, women technologists make up 29 per cent of the tech workforce today. Data from AnitaB.org shows that if numbers continue to increase at the current pace, it could take 12 years before women see equal representation in tech. We mustn’t wait that long.