By Helen Alexander
Women are amazing. We are so good at so many things outside of just the stereotypical “female jobs”. Women are so talented in fields like the technology and science sector, yet there is such a big gender gap in the technology sector. Currently, the ratio of men to women in the computing sector is 5:1! Women are very misrepresented in the industry and it’s something that we as powerful, independent, mighty women must endeavour to change.
So how can we change that? It’s a great question that so many of us inspirational females ask ourselves and others, but not much seems to be changing. Women hold only 26.7% of computer science jobs, so basically in other words, women make up just over a quarter of employees in that industry. And isn’t it a shame? Women, if anything, should be dominating at least half of the industry.
At various points over the years, there have been moments where women have taken over the world with their talents and expertise, many of whom I believe set a great example for women with a passion to close the gender gap in computer-related roles. Many of these women do not get enough credit and publicity nowadays and are not talked about enough. For example, Ada Lovelace, the famous mathematician/computer programmer who was perhaps best known for her extraordinary work on Charles Babbage’s general-purpose computer. The world-famous females who worked at NASA during the race to the moon. The incredible stories of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson were told in the 2016 movie, Hidden Figures. I loved the movie and was absolutely intrigued by how they broke down not just gender but also racial barriers. As for more modern women, there are so many influential women in tech right now and they are not spoken about enough in comparison to the famous men in tech. For example, Kimberly Bryant who is the founder and CEO of Black Girls Code. She set up her company after struggling to find a diverse computer programming course for her daughter in her area and now has the goal of teaching a million girls to code by 2040!
There are so many incredible women out there both in the past and present! We need to start bringing these superhuman women back into conversation and more importantly, start making our own conversations about ourselves. Did you know that a gender-blind study discovered that code written by women was approved at a rate of 78.6% compared to 74.6% of code written by men!
We need to bring women to the forefront of STEM and realise the value of women in this field. We need to show that women are strong and independent and just as valuable to technology as men if not more. We need to crack the code of the industry and allow women the chance to prove their worth.