Can IT Become More Gender Neutral?
You’ve already heard about the male-dominated workforce within the technology sector. At times, it still feels like there isn’t a lot of hope for women in tech. The industry continues to feel non-inclusive of female employees. So how do we break out of this cycle?
First, employers have to become savvy to the fact that a more diverse workforce equals a more effective and productive one. Secondly, the demand for technologically-geared employees is projected to explode in the next several years, which means employers need females no matter what.
IT Stereotypes & Women
Sadly, a large reason why many women aren’t currently present in the IT and tech industries has to do with stereotyping. In the past, women haven’t been seen as competent within the world of technology. Of course, not because women were truly unskilled within the realm of technology, but because this career path was far outside the traditional ideal of a female homemaker and stay-at-home mother. As a result, many women in history who pioneered areas like technology and coding faced much pushback and shaming because of their career choice.
These fields have been dominated by male workers for some time, which actually provides quite an advantage for females looking to work within the IT industry, here and now. Women can bring a completely fresh outlook to this niche job market, and bring many experiences that men simply have not had to handle in their lives. Studies show that many job markets are pressing for a more diverse workforce — period.
Why Diversity Matters
Workforces that are able to integrate employees from all walks of life, genders, age groups, races, religions, sexual orientations, and more have seen significant improvements in their overall output and work quality. An inclusive workforce means individuals are able to come together and offer unique perspectives on a particular issue, resulting in a more efficient way to solve problems. This also encourages more creativity within an organization when it comes to coming up with solutions for difficult problems. What’s more, an inclusive workforce means that talented individuals from the outside will be more attracted to companies that see value in diversity As a result, these companies will see increased productivity and more focused employees working toward a common goal.
Using Education to Close the Gap
Unfortunately, there is a history of women feeling that they may have been discriminated against simply due to their job choice. Women have found it difficult to progress in their chosen careers. As a result, many women are discouraged and feel that it is an impossible feat — but that’s simply not the case. Many businesses, and even college campuses, are already doing everything they can to start to break down these stereotypes by leading female-centric conventions and meetups for women who are thinking about pursuing a technology career.
Experts have agreed that starting earlier, like in high school or college, and working with women who are interested in this field can prepare girls to break through a historically biased workforce. Mentors can work with young girls who are interested but are possibly scared that they won’t be able to make it in this field. Young women can see that there are many female trailblazers out there already making a dent in this industry and that the technology sector desperately needs their expertise. Educators can show these girls that their experience and skills are unique and valuable in this industry, even if the culture hasn’t completely broken down harmful stereotypes just yet.
A Growing Workforce Equals More Opportunity
In addition, it simply does not make sense for employers to continue hiring more males than females. The need for skilled workers in areas like IT, coding, and cybersecurity is expected to grow more than 20 percent by the year 2024. This means that the demand will simply be too great for companies to continue discriminating in this fashion. The risk of not being able to fill these integral positions will simply be too great for employers to keep hiring this way.
Companies that choose to ignore the potential in women who are waiting to show their expertise to the world, are honestly asking for a downward spiral in their business. Without adequate staffing, regardless of gender, there is no way companies can meet the kind of extreme demand that is going to present itself in the coming years. As such, women can hope for a more inclusive career path via a technological boom that demands their attention. The world needs individuals who are technologically gifted, and it seems that this call can only be sufficiently met with a future that is female.
If you weren’t yet convinced about pursuing a career in IT or technology, now is the time to do it. This booming market is consistently looking for skilled, strong workers who are dedicated to the ever-evolving field of technology. It’s clear that you have what it takes to step outside of gender norms. Women are starting to make a dent in this niche, and if you’re ever uncertain of your ability to succeed, it’s crucial that you get in contact with empowering groups of women in technology, because you are valuable and this industry needs to you urgently.