According to a study by the Girl Scouts Research Institute, over 80% of girls are interested in pursuing a STEM career and 13% say it is their first choice for the future. Unfortunately, many girls lose interest in STEM by the age of 15, due to lack of female mentors, role models, or hands-on practice.
For many girls, even facing the gender inequality that already affects the STEM industry is enough to discourage further pursuit.
Emily Chang explores the nature of this gap in her new book Brotopia: Breaking Up The Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley. Documenting some of the worst behavior of Silicon Valley, Chang paints a unique picture of what it’s like to be a woman attempting to thrive in such an environment.
Questionable locations for meetings and office parties often put female employees in uncomfortable situations, and often lead them to not knowing what to expect when invited to meetings. Social workplace issues sometimes amount to the least of the problems facing women in Silicon Valley, as the very systems in place to safeguard sexual harassment and even assault are broken or nonexistent.
Though the gender bias still exists, times are changing and some tech companies are pulling out all the stops to cultivate a comfortable and safe environment for all their employees, not just the men. Salesforce ordered an internal review of over 17,000 employees with an emphasis on payroll. Spending an extra $3 million on payroll, the Salesforce employee statistics are showing progress in ending wage inequality and also boosting up female employment to 30%.
Intuit, creators of QuickBooks, has also been working towards building a tech environment that suits all its employees. With a higher than average percentage of female employees compared to industry averages, Intuit has invested in the recruitment and retention of women.
Encouraging female leadership, work/life balance support, flexible hours, and a focus on results than time spent in the office, the opportunities for women to grow within the company have skyrocketed.
While there is still much work to be done, the trajectory for the success of women in tech has never been higher. Take a look at this infographic for more on the past, present, and future of women in tech and how nurturing the growth of womens’ success in a primarily male industry can change the way we view technology.
Where do you hope to see women lead us in the tech industry?
Source: Evia Events