If you work in tech you’ll know that the industry has been far from inclusive when it comes to equal opportunities between men and women. Gender discrimination has been rife in STEM roles and lead to women being discouraged from pursuing senior roles or not being paid as much as their male counterparts.
A study from Pew Research Centre found that 50 percent of women in tech have experienced discrimination in the workplace, compared to 19 percent of men. It also reports: “Discrimination appears to be more prolific for women working in computer jobs (74 percent), for women who hold postgraduate degrees (62 percent), and for women in STEM settings where men outnumber women (78 percent).”
This month however sees some progressive and good news with the revelation that women now make up nearly one quarter of Scotland’s tech sector.
Although this may not seem like a huge amount, it’s a massive increase compared to recent years. Skills Development Scotland has revealed that according to the ONS Annual Population Survey, the number of women entering the technology sector has gone up by a 30 percent. Meanwhile, this has lead to a jump in overall statistics, making the number of women in tech in Scotland make up 23.4% since 2016 compared to the previous 18%.
These statistics were recently shares on Ada Lovelace Day, a day celebrating the first female computer programmer and all women in science, tech and engineering.
But despite these encouraging findings, there’s much more that we can do to make sure that women face fewer challenges entering STEM roles. One of the best things we can do is encourage women and girls from a young age in schools, and make subjects like computer science more accessible for girls.
This is supported by Morna Simpson of Girl Geek Scotland in CodeClan. Check out their full article here where they discuss nature verse nurture for women in STEM, changes that can be made to education and the impacts on business and society. Scottish Women in Technology also aims to break that glass ceiling by showcasing women’s involvement in tech and providing a platform for their success.
Today also marks #DayofTheGirl which raises awareness of and celebrates achievements made by women and girls throughout the world facing challenges when it comes to accessing education and opportunities. An initiative since 2012, the Independent sheds light on the importance of its progress: International Day of the Girl Child: What is it and why do we need it?
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