While women have been making great strides in various industries, it seems like the computer programming sector still remains a bastion of men. Of all the computer programming jobs, only 21% are held by women.
Several factors have been cited for the small number of women among computer programmers. It has been found that among those who are earning bachelor’s degrees in computer science, only 17% are women. That’s a drastic change from the statistics in 1984 when 37% of those who were pursuing computer science bachelor’s degrees were women.
In addition, women have shown a tendency of not staying long in the industry. Studies show that among women in the tech industry, 56% of them leave their tech jobs for other industries. That’s more than twice the departure rate of male tech workers.
However, experts have argued that there are 3 areas that can work in attracting more women to the tech industry.
Enabling Better Access
More women can join the tech workforce if the industry can open new pathways for women. Companies can use the popularity of their brands to increase awareness of the tech industry among women. These companies can offer scholarships for computer courses, even if these are just partial scholarships. Other companies can non-traditional graduates to enter the tech workforce by offering apprenticeships.
Fostering Greater Awareness
Very few women think about getting a computer technology degree and one of the reasons is because most of them don’t even think that it’s a viable option. They don’t have enough role models in the industry, so subconsciously women think that it’s a job only for men.
Many women wish to make a difference in the world, and the computer industry should publicize how tech skills can help women make a difference. Women should also be made aware that the field is highly lucrative, and that there is a wide range of careers available in the industry. The simple ability to learn a code can enable a woman to join virtually any field in the business sector—since all industries use computers!
There are moments when we doubt ourselves. That’s universally true whether you’re a man or a woman. Yet for some reason, it’s a factor that’s noted only in women.
One basic type of self-doubt is the imposter syndrome. This refers to when we face a new task for which we feel that we’re inadequate and that we don’t belong. We feel like imposters, other words.
In moments like these, it can be very hard to cope when you feel alone. If you’re a woman in the tech industry, it’s easy to feel that way as there are very few women in the industry and the self-doubt can contribute to why so many women leave the field. However, women should seek out other like-minded women in the field through social media and corporate initiatives so that they can get some mutual support.
These areas have barriers that must be overcome so that women can find it easier to join the tech workforce. Hopefully, gender parity can be achieved even in this so-called men’s club that is the tech industry.