Women in Tech: Good Technology Needs Men and Women
50% of women in tech leave their careers by 12 years in, in contrast with only 20% non-STEM fields.
But women who leave tech don’t leave work entirely. In fact, most who leave their careers often go on to work in other fields. 30% of those women say they leave tech careers behind because of “their organization’s climate.” Put simply: women leave tech fields to search out spaces where their work will be more valued and their voices better heard.
The mass exodus of women from technology doesn’t only impact the women who leave—it impacts the entire field, changing what is possible and how quickly such fields develop.
Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband, currently seeks solutions for helping women find their place in the professional world of technology. For her, the issue is a personal one that intersects with global trends:
“When I was in school in the 1980s, women got about 37 percent of computer science degrees and law degrees then. Law went up to 47 percent now. In medicine, we were at 28 percent in 1984. That’s gone up to 48 percent. Computer science went from 37 percent to 18 percent.” — Melinda Gates
Gates cites the surprising downtrend in women entering the computer science field, especially with virtually every other industry has seen a rise. The trend triggers a big question: what happens to any professional field when there is a vast gender imbalance?
Recently, a panel of women explored the tensions in the workplace that occur when more men than women work there:
“Studies have shown that companies perform better financially when they have women board directors and women in senior leadership. Female attributes like communication and listening skills are pointed to as reasons.”
You can view their entire conversation here: http://www.incontextdesign.com/womenintech/.
This is clearly an ongoing conversation, as the consequences of fewer women in technology continue to become evident. As the conversation continues, we want to hear from you. Are you a woman working in tech? What’s your experience?
Share your ideas below or email us at info@2NDGEAR.com!