The gender gap in tech is a well-known problem. Whether it's lower pay, fewer executive roles, or a general lack of respect for women in tech, founders, entrepreneurs, and tech employees are tired of seeing this gross imbalance effect an industry built on its pursuit of progress. Despite these glaring inequalities, things could be looking up for women in tech, as one study has shown that Generation Z women have what it takes to overturn this infamous issue.
To say, “it's about time” hardly covers it when it comes to women in tech. While women overall hold a 47 percent stake in the labor force, they only hold 24.7 percent of computer and mathematical occupations and just 15.1 percent of architecture and engineering jobs. To make matters worse, women have earned more than 57 percent of all bachelor's degrees in the last 10 years, but the proportion of women earning STEM degrees has fallen and hovers below 20 percent. And that's just not acceptable.
“Although the current statistics are discouraging, there are signs of growing interest in STEM careers among young women, and I believe Generation Z will spearhead greater gender diversity in technology roles,” said Monica Eaton-Cardone, the cofounder of Chargebacks911 and an IT executive in a press release.
That's right, according to a recent study, women in tech could be the norm rather than a diversity initiative, as Generation Z women are embracing postsecondary STEM education much more often than in recent years. In fact, for the first time ever, female engineering majors outnumbered males in the US. Plus, with tech giants like Google and Facebook spending millions on promoting women in their company, it's only a matter of time before the gender gap is a thing of the past.
In hopes of spurring this transition a little more, Eaton-Cardone has asked educators to nurture girls to develop these skills at an earlier age, and for career counselors to undercut the wage difference in STEM and non-STEM careers (STEM employees earn 33 percent more than those in non-STEM roles) when pitching the idea to potential women in tech.
If you're interested in promoting women in tech, it starts with you. You can fund startups founded by women; you can hold big companies to a higher standard on the gender gap; and most importantly, you can listen to what women have to say about the problem at hand. Because if you aren't listening to the people it affects, you're just posturing for attention.
Read more about diversity in tech on TechCo