Over the years, women in tech and gender diversity in the workplace has been a much talked about topic, yet yields no results. The roots of domesticity and women in the workplace can be traced to the World War II in the 1950’s, when America entered World War II and men had to go off to war, the women had to take the role of men in the workplace and their employment was only encouraged as long as the war persisted. When the men returned from war, they took over their positions and women went back to being stay-at-home moms; cleaning, cooking and taking care of the children.
Today, it almost feels offensive to call gender diversity unimportant, as research shows that a gender diverse workplace is an important asset to any organization. Gender diversity in the workplace is an acknowledgement of the individual strengths of each employee and the potential they bring. Which ensures that people of both genders are hired at a similar and consistent rate, are paid equally and are given the same working opportunities with the same opportunities for promotions. Some of the most common industry areas that see more male employees than female are in engineering, medicine, science and Tech!
Statistics on women in the workforce TeamStage (https://teamstage.io/women-in-the-workforce-statistics/) indicate that the percentage of women in the workforce has expanded from 49.7% in 2019. Women in North Africa faced an employment rate of only 19.6 percent (compared to the global average of 47.9 percent), the second lowest of all regions and sub‐regions in the world —and against a figure of 68 percent for the men in the sub‐region during the same year. While women make up around 40% of the global workforce, only 5% of those are in CEO and upper management positions; even earning 20% lesser than men.
An article by Deloitte Global predicted that in large global technology firms, on an average, nearly 33% overall females had representation in their workforces in 2022, up slightly more than 2 percentage points from 2019. Statistics currently show that only 24% of computing jobs are held by women.
The tech industry is seeing many great changes with regards to gender diversity. For example, Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievement of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) founded in 2009 by Suw Charman Anderson, an advocate for diversity in the tech industry and also Vanessa Sanyauke, the Founder and CEO of an award-winning global organization called Girls Talk London, an online talk show viewed by nearly 1 million people worldwide, that partner with businesses to build the future workforce.
With their events and digital content, they connect with women in 37 countries. Recently, Girls Talk London partnered with Zalando to launch the Black Girls in Tech Summit in Berlin to connect female talents to opportunities in tech. The aim of the partnership was to remove the barriers faced by women entering technology by showcasing opportunities available at Zalando to the Girls Talk London community in Europe and emerging markets.
Organizations like Women in Tech across Africa (WITA) also believe that women are equally capable of being at the forefront of technological development and advancement in Africa and the world at large and have also taken to themselves to impact women positively to make a change. Having women in the tech industry is a positive for any organization, since they foster the growth of women-related tech products that most the men in tech are less likely to design. Women with tech skills can help make tech products more gender balanced.
Women can be as good in technology as men. However, it is not the lack of interest that keeps women from pursuing the tech-related occupations. It is the unsupportive culture and undervaluing of their capabilities. A good starting point to get women in tech is by creating a supportive culture from homes and schools.