Ein Schülerinnenblog von Emma Trenkwalder.
For the past 4 decades, the gender gap in tech has gotten bigger and bigger, with only 1 woman in 5 people working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)today.
Despite years of work to achieve equality, women remain underrepresented in the technology Industry. The facts speak for themselves: according to Eurostat, just 17% of the people working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) across Europe are female – and only 5% of leadership positions in the technology industry are held by women.
The need for skilled employees in this industry is more obvious than ever. However, the technology branch continues to have a „men only“ reputation. If we want to strengthen the industry and we have to add more women to the Stem industry and introduce equally paid jobs.
Why do we need more women in Stem
Technology permeates every aspect of our society, defining the way we live, build products, work, and more. Not only does technology drive our economy but it invents our future. Technology products and services are being developed and delivered based on the perspectives of only one half of the population, and not designed with the needs of everyone in mind. Women make up half of consumers and technology companies need to reflect this in their workforce designing those products.
This gender gap is preventing women from playing their full role in shaping the future of our society since STEM careers are projected to be some of the most sought-after in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Here are some interesting stats on Women in Tech.
Out of the 13 indicators used in the WiD Scoreboard to measure participation, the study shows that there is a gender gap in all 13 with the largest gap being present in ICT(Informations- und Kommunikationstechnik) specialist skills and employment.
Only 17% of ICT specialists are women.
Only 34% of STEM graduates are women.
Women in the ICT sector earn 19% less than men.
46% of women have reported that they have experienced discrimination in the European tech sector.
Just 22% of participants in tech-related Meetup events throughout the EU were women
In the Atomico report on gender composition by job title for Executive-level positions, the study found just 1 female Chief Technology Officer out of a sample of 175.
93% of the capital invested in tech companies went to all-male founding teams.
The fact in these reports clearly shows the existence of a gender gap in the tech industries and STEM fields. But why? What are the reasons behind the numbers?
According to a study shown by The World Bank, women make up less than 40% of the total global workforce.
Of course, this number differs when you zoom in to specific countries. For example, in the EU the employment rate for women of working age is 66.5 %. While the rate has improved over the years, it’s still less than men 78.1 and women tend to be employed in lower-paying jobs.
Why are Girls Less Likely To Study STEM Subjects At School
Inequality in the workplace begins with inequality in the classroom. Research has shown that the gender stereotyping of STEM subjects has a direct link to less girls choosing the subjects in both high school and secondary education.
The fact that maths, physics, and chemistry are perceived to be more ‘male’ subjects acts as a deterrent for some female students who would otherwise be interested. It also means that girls are less likely to be supported in these areas.
A report by PWC on Women in Tech which looked at the experiences of 2,000 A-Level and university students in the UK confirmed that the view that the gender gap in technology starts at school and continues into further education and beyond.
Here are some of the key findings of the report:
- Just 16% of females in the study had been suggested a tech career compared to 33% of males
- 83% of high school boys chose STEM subjects, compared to 64% of girls
- Only 30% of females had opted for a STEM subject at university, compared to 52% of the males
- 27% of female students said they would consider a career in STEM, compared to 61% of males
- Only 3% of females say a career in technology is their first choice
- Over a quarter of female students said they had been put off from a career in technology because it’s too male-dominated
Today, several initiatives are working towards bridging the gender gap in technology. Most of these initiatives are isolated and they focus on specific actions that cover a part of the problem but do not offer a full spectrum of solutions.
Working individually and locally, networks have less impact. They can make a difference, but no real change can be done to invert the process and bridge the gender gap in the STEM industry in the long term.