In a world that’s constantly changing, it can be difficult to stay abreast of all the latest developments, business or otherwise. While some trends pass by quickly, there are others that have, for better or worse, stood the test of time. Case in point: the shortage of women in technology.
In May the National Center for Women and Information Technology released a report on the status of women in technical positions, and the numbers were troubling. While women hold 57 percent of professional occupations in America’s workforce, they make up only 26 percent of professional computing occupations. The idea that gender differences in the brain are to blame for the shortage of women in STEM fields has been disproven. So what accounts for this difference? Why are there so many more men in tech than women?
While the idea that men and women have different brains are dead, gender stereotypes are not. The shortage of women in tech can be attributed to a number of factors:
- The idea that males are better at math and science.
- Most STEM workers in the media / popular culture are male.
- Tech careers are seen as unfeminine.
- A lack of female role models.
Since women make up half of the world’s population, it’s crucial that they feel empowered in the workforce. So what can companies do to support women in tech? In her article “3 Tips for Women Aspiring to Succeed in Technology,” Sonal Sethia encourages women to find a mentor, support each other, keep learning new skills, know their strengths and weaknesses, and advocate for themselves. Then it won’t be so rare to see women in technology, and outdated ideas about gendered professions will fade away.
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