Today marks International Women’s Day. A day when the world comes together to appreciate the achievements and success women all around to world have had.
This year, the theme is ‘Press for Progress’ to encourage the gender parity gap to close. Among every industry there has been a gender gap for decades, whether it is regarding pay or the hierarchy of positions. Today the best from the business hope to empower women round the world and encourage more to take up roles in industries, which are out of their comfort zones or strive for top level jobs.
Technology has been an industry that women have often strayed away from, feeling inferior to men and that the job is not suited to the stereotypical woman. However the number of women entering the industry is growing, but still not at the rate expected.
Gartner revealed that although women make up almost half of the workforce worldwide, only 31% of IT employees are represented by women. If that is not bad enough, this number falls further at leadership level to just 22%.
According to Gartner’s research only 13% of CIOs are females, which has been the same standard for a number of years. Despite the efforts of the industry, the fact remains that women do not have the same reputation as men in technology.
There have been some positive outcomes in the gender parity over the last year thought however. FTSE and Fortune 500 boards have aimed to ensure 30% of leadership roles are held by women, which they are well on the way to achieving. Sticking on the positive path Gartner has predicted that by 2021 the number of female CDOs will increase to 33%, which is an 18% climb to what they represent today.
Trisha Price, EVP of Product Development and Engineering at nCino, said: “Although female leaders are still the minority, we’re seeing promising signs that this is changing. It’s great to see movements such as #womenintech become so prominent which has been key to the empowerment and rise of women throughout the industry. With awareness campaigns and encouraging social movements, the celebration of International Women’s Day, and strong female support systems, I am confident we’ll continue to see positive change in the industry.”
Cyber security and risk management is an area that women seemingly shy away from, with 2.8 executive men to women in the area. These figures worsen as Gartner looked into other areas of organisations. In business continuity management (BCM) the proportion of men to women was staggering. In IT disaster recovery 89% of executives were male and 80% males taking up BCM programme related roles.
Women working in the technology industry believe diversity in the workforce could be the key needed to innovate in the ever changing world.
Adaire Fox – Martin, Executive Board Member at SAP, said: “Diversity is the innovation engine. Our very strong focus on diversity and inclusion has not only led to a more inclusive culture at SAP, but allows us to better serve an increasingly diverse customer base, attract and retain talent, and compete in a rapidly-changing global economy.”
Initiatives like International Women’s Day hopes to close this gender gap, encourage more women to take on the tech industry and choose career paths based on their interests and not stereotypes. Many companies have seen an increase in the number of women in teams, which is encouraging for the coming years.
Alexis Kelly, Test Analyst, BJSS said: “International Women’s Day is an important celebration for our industry. It promotes women who have established themselves in a traditionally male-dominated technology space, and it inspires those who are yet to join. Crucially, it also plays an important role in bridging the STEM/digital diversity gap, helping young women see the opportunities that are open to them as the next generation of technologists.”