If you were asked, “Is the gender gap in technology getting better?” what would you say? If you said that women are getting more jobs now and advancing in this industry, your answer wouldn’t be wrong – but it wouldn’t be correct, either. With all of the recent programs that aim to get women more involved in technology, it may seem that women are catching up to men in the tech industry. In reality, this isn’t the case. A recent New York Times article by Cade Metz says that the gender gap won’t close for another century “if current trends hold.” These results are shocking. Computers have only been around for 70 years, and women were there programming and working on them at the start. But all that has changed. It will now take 100 years to close the current gender gap in computer science research. That’s unacceptable!
In his article, “The Gender Gap in Computer Science Research Won’t Close for 100 Years,” Metz says that women authors are few in research areas, and, due to male bias, “men are growing less likely to collaborate with female researchers.” This is an extremely concerning statement for all women who are in or looking to join the technology field because men make up 73% of researchers and women only make up “27% of researchers.” If 73% of the tech industry is less likely to collaborate with women, there are very slim chances of moving forward.
With numbers like these, it is of utmost importance that the 27% of women who are in this industry work together to get these numbers up. SheTek is working to make this happen. SheTek is an initiative of PamTen, an IT Staffing and Services company, that advances women in the technology field by creating an interactive community that encourages mentoring, collaboration, networking, and connections. The initiative addresses the need to increase the percentage of women in technology through unique community. Through SheTek, women can build meaningful professional relationships that can help further not only their lives, but the lives of all women in technology. If some men are unwilling to work with women, women have to help each other to excel.
In his article, Metz goes on to say that due to a lack of female role models and mentors, women are less likely to enter and stay in computer science. This means women that are already in the field now have an added duty – to be role models, mentors, and collaborators with those entering or coming up in the field. This is the one of the most successful ways to encourage more women to get involved.
Women and girls must see that there are others like them succeeding in this fast growing field. SheTek helps serve this goal by creating a visible network of mentors, guidance, and role models for women. Their impressive team is a network of women from all paths of IT who have built a notable professional career in many different fields. More than just bridging the gap in networking and visibility, SheTek provides job opportunities, events, training and mentorships through their 3 pronged approach: Empower, Educate and Employ.
These resources may seem hard to find, but SheTek centralizes the information through their programs. Women need to motivate each other to study computer science, and most importantly, stick with it. Technology is a leading field going into the future, and women have to play a greater part in it. According to Metz, “studies have shown that diverse teams can produce better research.” Women’s’ role in technology is crucial. With a more diverse team, the results will take everyone into account. A woman’s perspective in tech is imperative. Many of the life sciences will reach gender parity in the near future, with some reaching parity as early as 2048. There is no reason why computer science should be any different. There is still a glass ceiling, and we must work together to break it. SheTek is doing their part, are you?