Technology has always been a male-dominated sector with very few women at the helm of companies on the scene. Looking at how they are still vastly underrepresented, it’s no secret that the industry begs for a gender balance. But fortunately, women like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki are setting great examples for potential future disruptors. Due to such role models, the strong appeal of tech harboured by the next generation is increasing. And it’s evident as more girls are choosing to graduate in STEM subjects according to Stem Women, a female-centric job site.
Consequently, the gender bias which previously plagued the sector is slowly melting with more women aspiring to break the glass ceiling. This is backed by a report released by Booking.com, the travel site, which said 57% of 6,898 women surveyed globally felt being a woman had a positive influence in their decision to pursue a career in tech.
The primary attraction to the industry according to 48% of UK respondents was that tech jobs gave them the freedom to be innovative in their role, with many claiming working in the sector would land their dream job. But what does a dream job look like? For 82% of Brits, that’s doing work which leaves them feeling inspired while 80% said work that complements their existing skills.
However, despite the opportunities in the market, 60% women still saw the blatant gender gap as a challenge when it comes to working in a predominantly male-led environment. In addition, nearly one in three women in the UK said the dearth of female decision makers demotivated them from venturing into the sector.
Commenting on the gender disparity in the tech sector, Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com, said: “To empower women to truly succeed in tech, we as an industry have an opportunity to do more. This includes putting forth more female role models, eliminating gender bias that starts right from the recruitment process before a woman is even hired and investing in initiatives that spotlight the industry as attractive and welcoming at all stages, from new entrants up to the most senior leadership.”
Indeed, encouraging more girls from high school and positively shaping their perception of STEM subjects is the ideal way to reduce the gender gap. And despite the challenges, women now are more motivated to prove their chops in the tech sector. Looking at the increasing influx of female talent it’s fair to say it will drive the change that’s needed.