The Future of Women in Tech: Empowering Yourself for Success in 2023

I was the only woman on a four-generation Cuban farm with 40 developers—not just once, but in two separate companies. And now that I’m a freelance writer working in major technology centers, the experts I regularly interview are almost always men.

When I saw headlines a few years ago saying we needed more women in tech, I took action. I heard myself say things like, “That’s the way it is.”
Yes, I’m ashamed to admit it. In my 25 years of experience in the industry, I figured I just had to get comfortable (and accept being the only woman in a room or at a conference).

But I was wrong. Really wrong. One day it hit me, like all the big and small things I’ve experienced, witnessed firsthand, or confidently shared with me related to this gender.

I realised that my accepting attitude, which is true of many technicians, is part of the problem. And this is unacceptable, especially when we have the opportunity to make a difference.
The tech gender gap should matter to everyone in the universe.
The reality is that less than one in five tech workers are women, even though women make up more than half of the American workforce.


These statistics hurt the economy, businesses, women and their families, and everyone who uses technology—pretty much everyone in the universe, that is. But many people can have a direct and significant impact on this reality.

If you are in the tech industry or thinking of getting into it, this article was written for you. Everyone in tech—not just those in leadership or hiring positions—shares the responsibility and challenge of closing the gender gap in tech. Your words, actions, and inactions can have both positive and negative consequences.

Having worked in many different positions in the technology sector (technical writer, project manager, UX designer, content marketing writer), I have seen firsthand how the underrepresentation of women affects both the industry and companies’ technology products. Most importantly, I’ve seen amazingly talented women either leave the tech industry or never enter it because it’s a male-dominated field.

Tons (and tons) of articles and publications have been written about women in tech and everything in between. But this article is different. Most paragraphs focus on only one part of the problem or simply give an overview of the problem.
But the problem is huge! And complicated. Writing this article is not just a job for me. It is personal. This is my career. and that covers most of my working time.
We cover (almost) everything about the lack of women in technology, including the causes, consequences, and, most importantly, solutions.

After you’re done reading, you can take real action to address this unfortunate situation—no matter what your role is.

Women’s Status in Technology Today

While researching this article, I was shocked to discover that the proportion of women working in the tech field was higher in the 1980s than it is now. And according to chief technology officer Judith Spitz, technology is the only STEM career where the number of women has decreased over the past 20 years. Yes, the number of women has improved recently. But that is not enough.

The fact that women are underrepresented in tech is not entirely the fault of tech companies. Yes, they certainly have a large part, if not most, of the responsibility. But the education system needs to encourage and welcome women into computer science graduate programmes to get jobs in technology, and that’s not happening right now. (We’ll talk more about that later.)

Even after accounting for recent advertisements, articles, videos, and posters, women hold only 23% of Apple’s technical positions and 32% of the company’s workforce. Google has similar statistics, with 21% of its technical positions held by women and 31% of its total workforce. Microsoft is in line, with women making up 20% of tech jobs and 27% of the workforce.

women in tech

I read a lot of statistics while researching this article. But I think the following gives a very clear picture of what it is now:

  • 33% of women working in technology today have considered changing fields because of the men  in the field.
  • Women leave the tech industry 45% more often than men.
  • Half of tech startups don’t have women on their boards.

The Impact of the Gender Gap in Technology

We’ve made progress because people are talking about it. and how companies work. But the problem is becoming even bigger and more complex as technology becomes an increasingly important part of our daily lives.
Gender inequality in technology is a problem for many reasons besides just inequality. 

Here are the top reasons why you should care about the gender gap:

Women using technology:


Technology touches every aspect of our lives, and everyone uses technology. We need diverse thoughts, perspectives, and skills to create the most powerful and user-friendly technology. Women and men often bring different strengths to the table, meaning that if women are not represented, neither are their strengths or perspectives.

Women are more effective leaders than men:


Yes, I have the data to back it up. Zenger Folkman, a strength-based management firm, found that women in technology had a performance score of 52.1%, compared to 42.0% for men. Interestingly, of the various industries studied, the gap between male and female leadership scores was the largest in the technology industry.


Technology offers high-paying positions:


As more and more jobs are related to technology, women who are not interested or qualified in the field are losing their opportunities to obtain high-paying positions.


Self-limiting proposal:


The fact that there are fewer women in tech causes many women to stay away from the industry because they don’t want to be “the only one.” This also means that unconscious bias can lead to men hiring men, making the gap even wider.


Better business performance for businesses that are gender diverse:

A McKinsey study found that companies were 21 percent more likely to have above-average profits if they were in the top quartile for the gender diversity of their executives.
Women are advancing in technology.
It will take many small, incremental changes from many different people and organizations to make this happen. 

Here are six key changes that need to happen if we’re going to see more women in tech.


Key #1: Graduating More Women with Computer Science Degrees and Certificates

I saw the initial difference as soon as my own children entered school. The homeroom teacher encouraged my son to take technology and computer courses as electives. However, not only was my daughter directed toward art and music, but she was also actively discouraged from taking advanced math classes.

If we are to solve, or at least improve, the gender inequality in technology, we must start with the problems in the education system.
Women earn fewer computer science degrees than men.
Former astronaut Dr. Sally Ride said in a New York Times article that girls between the ages of 10 and 12 are more likely to fall off the rails in STEM fields.

My experience mirrors the UNESCO report Cracking the Code: Girls and Women’s Education in STEM, which came to the same conclusion as Dr. Ride, saying that girls lose interest in STEM subjects between early and late adolescence, suggesting that girls are less likely to complete advanced mathematics and science education in middle school classrooms.
“Girls are often raised to believe that STEM subjects are “male” subjects and that women’s abilities in STEM are inherently inferior to those of men.” “Although research into biological factors disproves the factual basis for such beliefs, they persist and undermine girls’ self-confidence, interest, and willingness to participate in STEM subjects.”

But I think this myth is a big part of why women don’t go into computer science. Males are much more likely than females to take AP Computer Science in high school that earns college credit: 81% compared to 19%. The university statistics are about the same; only 17.9% of informatics graduates are women.

Even more troubling, the number of women in computer science is actually declining, even though many companies, organizations, and schools are investing in increasing the number of women pursuing computer science degrees. If in 1994
In 2015, 28 percent of IT graduates were women; in 2016, this number dropped to less than 19 percent.
Harvey Mudd College quadruples the number of women computer science majors.
Some campuses are exceptions to this trend. Many schools that focus specifically on recruiting women into computer science programmes are getting results. Over the past decade, Harvey Mudd College in Southern California has increased the number of women majoring in computer science from 10 percent to 55 percent. But it wasn’t just marketing or other tactics that were responsible for the growth.
The school began to identify three reasons why female students did not study computer science:
They do not think they are good at programming.
They are assumed not to fit in with the culture.

They are unable to locate the subject interesting and the school became active overcome these obstacles. The first change was to make Introduction to Computer Science a graduation requirement. The school now offers two different introductory courses: one for the more experienced and one for beginners. The school found that it reduced the fear factor and increased the confidence of women who had never considered computer science as an option.

Harvey Mudd College has revolutionised the way computer science is taught to make it interesting and relevant to both genders. Courses are based on puzzles, graphics, and topics of interest to students of both genders, such as DNA and evolution.
And it worked. Many women enjoy the courses and actively change their major to computer science. By forcing other colleges, especially those with advanced computer science programmes, to make similar changes, national statistics may soon mirror Harvey Mudd’s.
Understanding the Complex Reasons for Women’s Disadvantage

The education system as a whole needs to take an approach similar to that of Harvey Mudd, focusing on younger students. Our society needs to understand exactly why girls and women do not take computer science courses. And then, of course, to act to solve the problems at an age and stage where we can encourage women to make different choices in their careers.

The interest rate? Perceived ability perhaps? Or perhaps conscious and unconscious peer pressure? Don’t women want to be one of the few in the class? Does the lack of female computer science professors and teachers help? Maybe society and family discourage women from going into computer science?
Based on my extensive research and personal experience, it is all of the above. I think Harvey Mudd’s conclusions are mostly correct, but to solve the overall problem, we also need to change society’s unconscious bias.

After reading many articles, reports, and people’s opinions on these topics, I believe the UNESCO report says it best:
“Girls’ disadvantage in STEM is due to multiple and overlapping factors related to both socialisation and learning processes.” These include social, cultural, and gender norms that influence how girls and boys grow, learn, and interact with parents, family, friends, teachers, and the wider community. “These influences are powerful forces in shaping their identities, beliefs, behaviours, and elections.”

These observations support my own experiences. More than two decades later, I still vividly remember the confused looks from my college friends when I told them I was taking a computer science elective. And I have to admit, it was a bit unsettling to walk into the huge auditorium on the first day, and I had to actively look for another woman in the class.

And yes, the professor was a man. Experts often point to a lack of role models in the classroom as a factor affecting gender equality in technology. The number of computer science professors at Harvard is considered high at 25 percent. And even North Carolina State University, which had the largest number of female computer science professors, now has only 20 female professors out of about 70.

Constantly prove your worth.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve never taken a computer class since that intro class. After this experience, I decided not to become a programmer but to pursue technical writing in the technology industry.
And yes, I’m sure the equal number of men and women in my technical writing classes subconsciously played a pretty big role in my decision. Of course, I ended up going into tech, but many programming and technical positions pay more than technical writing.
Was it because I was in an all-male group for my computer course projects? Or the fact that the course was taught as if for men, with sports examples and more masculine projects? Did I feel uncomfortable being the only one in the IT lab for several nights?
 Maybe. But I think the biggest reason was that during those three months, I felt like I had to constantly prove my worth—talk to professors, ask computer lab assistants questions, or work on group projects. And no, I don’t think it was my imagination or just sensitivity.
It was thought that I was less competent on the subject until I proved the opposite, while my male colleagues were considered competent until proven otherwise. And unfortunately, after 25 years in the tech industry, I run into the same obstacle almost every day.

More women in engineering classrooms

We need to address real issues in engineering to increase the number of women in engineering. But frankly, these changes don’t matter if we can’t create educated women interested in careers in technology.
Organizations that focus on getting girls into technology at a young age are a good start. And by making these groups girls-only, girls feel more comfortable, and activities can be designed around girls’ interests.
I was particularly impressed with the work of these three organizations:
Girls Who Code This global programme offers free summer programmes and after-school clubs that teach girls how to code.
black girls’ code. With chapters across the country, this organisation focuses on teaching computer programming to girls between the ages of 7 and 17.
 Rails Girls. Girls in areas that don’t have a local section of the groups above can go to this online community, which includes an open-source guide on organising events.

How to make a difference

Primary and secondary schools have a big role to play in this change. In high school and university, many girls have already formed their own opinions about the field of technology and also about their own abilities.

Here are five things schools can do to get girls interested in technology:

  • Make technology a required course in elementary school.
  • Primary school students require more programming.
  • Make sure that the speakers and parents at career days are women in technology.
  • Educate teachers about unconscious bias against girls in math and technology.
  • Provide a technology/computer club for girls.

But efforts must extend beyond the classroom. A single comment from an adult, even a neighbour or family member, can encourage (or discourage) a girl from entering a STEM field. Everyone who interacts with girls should try to:

  • Actively encourage any interest in technology.
  • Sharing friends and family through technology
  • If you work in tech, offer a tour or bring young girls to an event at your workplace.
  • Mention technology when you ask them what they want to be when they grow up.
  • When talking about school, ask if they take computer or technology courses.

I know some of these seem like simple answers to a really complex problem. But things like the gender gap in technology are compounded by the small actions people take every day around the world.

If everyone evaluates their reactions and biases toward girls and women who show an interest in technology—and then makes small adjustments—over time, social bias will change and college computer classrooms will be filled with women and men.



Key #2: Make sure women earn higher promotions than men.

If we are going to close the gender gap in technology, which is a key factor in retaining women and reducing the disproportionate attrition of women, According to the National Council for Women in Technology, more than twice as many women(41%) Men (17%) are leaving high tech in greater numbers than women (41%)and nailing that bounce rate starts with looking at your bids.

I have never had a female manager in a technical role. Yes, I had female leads as a technical writer. but never when I was part of a team that included developers and UX designers. According to Indeed’s survey of only about half (53%) of women felt they had the same opportunities for advancement as men. This means that the other party felt that they were discriminated against because of their gender in the advertising. Not surprisingly, the study also found that 28 percent of women quit their tech jobs because they felt they lacked a career path.

Engineering usually has two career paths: one for people who want to stay at the practical level of programming and technical skills (Junior Programmer, Senior Programmer, or System Engineer), and one for those who want to move into managerial and administrative positions (Director, CEO, or CIO).
Since each track is graded differently and requires different skills to progress, I will look at each one separately.

Women stack for a longer period of time than junior programmers.

To be honest, what worried me the most was the HackerRank study, which found that women over 35 are 3.5 times more likely to be junior programmers than men of the same age. And between the ages of 24 and 35, 74percent of men were promoted to senior developers, compared to just 54percent of women.
To me, the senior developer promotion numbers are more worrying than the management numbers. In my experience, many programmers do not want to move into management positions that require people management and office politics.
Instead, they want the ability to handle more complex and advanced software projects and make more money in the process. This makes the promotion path extremely important in terms of career growth and salary in technical positions.

Women CIOs are on the rise.

I found a bright spot for women in tech while browsing the statistics: the Deloitte report, “Shattering the IT Glass Ceiling: Perspectives from Leading Women CIOs.” The Fortune 500 has more female CIOs than female CEOs and CEOs combined.
While 19% of female CIOs sounded low when I first read this number compared to the overall percentage of women in tech (around 20%), this statistic is a positive sign. especially considering that only 12% of CFOs and 5% of CEOs are women.
Other reports have a slightly different perspective. An Indeed survey showed a decline in the number of women in senior management positions. Equilar found that only 14.3 percent of tech boards are women, which is low overall but even lower than the average for all Russell 3000 companies, which is 16.2 percent women.

There are many management positions at the middle management level that offer good salary opportunities for women, but the statistics for management promotion are alarming. Although the study was not technology-related but did include technology companies, it found that men hold 62 percent of management positions, compared to only 38 percent for women.

How Getting a Job Because I’m a Woman Has Damaged My Confidence

My own experiences with tech promotions are completely different than the statistics I found, but they were just as devastating to my morale. At the age of 21,I was invited to the office of the chief director. His department was my internal client, meaning I technically reported to another manager, but I was tasked with handling the technical writing needs of his department.

He told me he has problems because there are no women in his department, and he wants to hire me for any job I want. Here’s the kicker: He said I was the only woman his guys wanted to work with.

I was excited at the time—I got a raise, a new computer, a great job as a project manager, and negotiated expensive training to get a project manager certificate. But over the years, it really sank in that I only got the job because I was a woman. He never mentioned my skills or work. And, true or not, the message I took away was that my work was independent of men and that my gender was my main redeeming quality.
And now that I have the wisdom of middle age, I have to ask, department, who was IN the men in the department know that I  got the job only because I was a woman? Did it affect how they saw me? It is very likely. And was the cold shoulder of the man working in the department  more experienced than me, justified? Probably. 

Women must get jobs according to their results, skills, and experience. They should not be able to get or not get a job solely on the basis of their gender. It is not fair to men. It is not fair to women. It’s not fair to the teams. and that’s not fair to the company.


How to make a difference

The solutions to this problem are not new and earth-shattering ideas. Indeed, it ensures that key best practises are in place and followed. It’s about transparency, training, and communication throughout the process.

However, it is important to note that what works for women in terms of advertising actually works for everyone. Many of our suggestions should be implemented everywhere.

Here are key ways to change the technology advancement process:

Explore career opportunities. Information must be transparent and available to all employees. It should include the specific skills and experience needed to move up the ladder.
Help people achieve their goals. Create a personal career path for each employee based on their own strengths and goals. Ask employees to update their manager regularly.

Developing a mentoring programme for women in the technology industry This should include mentor training to help mentees achieve their career goals.
Provide leadership training to high-performing employees to help address skill gaps. Instead of requiring women to apply or register, ask managers to individually ask each employee about their interest in participating. Many women expect to be contacted about leadership training opportunities. You should also hold managers accountable for gender-specific training and promotion.

Reorganize Your Recruiting and Hiring Process in Order to Attract and Hire Women

Giving a presentation as part of an interview with only 15 minutes of preparation is incredibly nerve-wracking. Add to that the fact that you are the only woman in the room (and at the job interview), presenting in front of eight men who will decide if you get the job. The sweaty palm quotient just jumped even higher.

Not to mention the manager forgot to tell me the dress code was shorts and t-shirts, so I was massively overdressed in my navy skirt suit. Yes, this is a true story.
Second, after education, employment most likely contributes (or does not contribute) to women’s underrepresentation in technology.Although I used to work as the only woman with men, the situation almost forced me out, especially as an inexperienced 25-year-old. I stuck with it and got the job. But I know many women who would have refused after the interview.

Benefits are the top job search consideration for women.

When I started looking for a new job at age 27, I knew I expected to become a mother within the next few years. So flexibility and motherhood were at the top of my list, even more important than salary. And I got the job mainly because the company offered 12 weeks of paid maternity leave (which was high at the time) and up to three years of unpaid leave.
Let’s look at the most important considerations for women and men when looking for work:


At first glance, you might think that the top five are pretty similar for both sexes. This is true in a sense, but the order is significantly different. So, when a man is interviewing a woman for a job, he may spend the majority of his time discussing challenging or interesting work because it is at the top of his list.

However, this score does not have such a positive effect as he would think because it is the fourth among women. And a man may never even talk about affordable working hours (because men have 8). But a woman who lists it as one of her top three concerns can expect the hours to be unmanageable—simply because the problem isn’t addressed.

Health care, leisure, and flexibility are important for women.

Many of my friends took certain jobs because they needed health insurance for their families. Maybe their spouse owned their own business, was a freelancer, or just had bad benefits at their job.
So I wasn’t surprised to find that according to a Harvard Business Review survey, 61% of women said they would consider better health, vision, and dental insurance when looking for a job. However, I had not anticipated that less than half (47% of men share this sentiment.
In my opinion, the remaining top five concerns for women in this study about flexibility are working from home (55%), more flexible hours (47%), unrestricted vacation (47%) and more. Vacation time(40%). Men had the same top five, but working from home was much less prominent, with onlyv40 percent cited it as a consideration.
I checked HackerRank’s 2019 Women in Tech Report to see if women in tech have similar priorities. The main priority in this survey was different—professional growth and learning—and 70% of women over the age of 22 considered it a sought-after job. But unsurprisingly, 67 percent of women over 22 also rated work-life balance as a top priority.

How to Make a Difference

Here are three ways to use benefits to encourage women to consider and apply for tech jobs:
Include women in the interview process. I know I never wanted to ask a male interviewer about flexibility, and I would be more likely to ask this question to a female.
Emphasize flexibility and work-life balance. Women (and men) often research a company’s benefits before applying and don’t want to be asked this question during an interview, so make sure it’s included on your website.
Feature women in technical positions on your career page. You should also consider having female employees share their experiences, especially when it comes to work and family support.
Job ads: “No, women don’t want to be shinobis.”
Recruitment usually starts with a job seeker reading a job ad, either on a recruitment website or on the company’s own website. After that, the person decides if the job is something they would be interested in or likely to end up doing. However, Undercover Recruiter found that while women are influenced by job postings containing sexist language, it does not influence men’s decision to apply or not. The study found that women are more likely to file a claim when they see the words “selfish,” “independent,” and “aggressive,” but are more likely to throw their name online when they see words like “possessed” in the announcement. and “responsible”. 

Harvard Business School (HBS) specifically named the words “ninja” and “dominate,”  which have suddenly gained popularity in recent years. HBS assumed (correctly, I think) that most women usually don’t like these words. And because words are considered masculine in nature, women are less likely to apply for a position where the ideal candidate is advertised as a ninja.

Additionally, The Undercover Recruiter found that a job’s qualification list can have a significant impact on applicants. When men see a job they want, they apply—even if they only meet 60% of the requirements. But women are likely to opt out of the app itself. Women usually only apply if they have 100% of the skills and personality traits mentioned in the ad.
Iris Bohnet, visiting professor at HBS, co-chair of Harvard’s Behavioral Insights Group, and director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Women and Public Policy, says jobs are often done by committee, which means whatever someone wants is added. In reality, a large part of the job description is a wish list.

Making a difference

Here are four ways to create job ads that encourage female applicants:

  • Have a diverse team create job descriptions. Including members of both sexes on committees helps limit the use of sexist language. You should also include reviewers from different cultures and age groups.
  • Use the free Swamp Coder for jobs. This tool will rate the job ad and tell you if the language is aimed at men or women. This is based on the list of gendered words included in the Duke/Waterloo study.
  • Only list qualifications for jobs that are actually required. The shorter and more specific your list, the more likely women will think you’re qualified and apply.
  • Include benefits that women like. We have already discussed how important certain benefits are for women. Make sure your job description highlights benefits like flexibility, healthcare, and professional development.


Role Interviews in Hiring and Recruiting Women in Tech

Job interviews are a two-way street: the employer decides if they want to hire the candidate, and the interviewee decides if they want to spend most of their waking hours at the company. While it goes without saying that candidates should feel comfortable and welcome during this process, it is even more important if she is one of the few women in the department.

Talking about the elephant in the room

In a job interview, I was asked how I would feel about being one of the only women on the team. I was surprised; I wasn’t quite sure how to answer, and frankly, the question made me uncomfortable. I was offered a job, but I turned it down. But I accepted another position where another woman in the department took me out to lunch during the interview and was open to me asking her the same question.
On the other hand, I was asked to attend every interview at a company where I was the only woman in the department. No, I was not hurt; I thought it was important. And I realized However, in my opinion, a woman should be included in the interview process for every female candidate. And I’m pretty sure most (if not all) women in tech would agree with me.


Can interview questions widen the gender gap?

One of the statistics that surprised me the most while researching this story came from a Stanford University study. 75% of surveyed older women in the tech field said they were asked about marital status, children, and family life in interviews. This shouldn’t surprise me because this has happened to me as well. But I really hoped I was just unlucky.

Changing the interview process can affect gender inequality. Interestingly, Slack increased the number of women in technical roles by 5 percent by revamping their interview process. Yes, it may seem small on the surface. But it has increased the percentage of women in technical roles to 36%, compared with 19 to 20 percent at Microsoft, Facebook, and Google.

Instead of doing a whiteboard chat where candidates have to solve a coding problem on a whiteboard (often with an audience), Slack has switched to a blind code review. In this chat format, applicants submit code samples that are reviewed by a committee without knowing the name (or gender) of the applicant.

The company also looked at the skills required for each position and created behavioural questions to assess them. Most importantly, Slack provided interview training and mock interviews to everyone involved in the hiring process.
Another problem with the traditional interview process is that men often interview women in technology. A University of California study found that men are tougher on women than men during interviews, which can lead to women being less likely to be hired. Although the study was conducted in the academic field, I believe that the results are applicable to the technology field because both fields are dominated by men.

How to Influence Change

You can’t hire a woman for a tech job without an interview. In all the stories, news segments, and research on women in tech that I reviewed for this article, I found that interviews were one of the areas that received the least attention. However, I believe one of the keys to increasing the number of women in tech is focusing on the interview process.

Here are four ways companies can improve the interview process:

  • Make sure women are part of every interview process. This is especially important for female job seekers. This helps ensure a broader assessment of the interviewees and contributes to the development of a more versatile company culture.
  • Provide interview training. It should include questions to ask, key points to share about the job, and an evaluation of candidates. All supervisors and other employees involved in the interview process should complete this training.
  • Give female applicants a more informal opportunity. It can be as simple as having lunch or coffee in the break room. The goal is for a female candidate to speak with another female in a technical role. This allows for a more honest and open conversation, which may lead to her accepting your position.
  • A blind review is used to evaluate skills. Eliminate presenting or solving coding problems in front of a group on a whiteboard. Instead, ask the group to rate the candidates’ work without knowing their name or gender. This will help eliminate any implicit or direct biases

    “Equal pay for equal work”

    We can’t solve—or even fix—the gender gap in technology without looking at the wage gap. Yes, it exists in other industries, but its impact is magnified by larger technological challenges. 
    However, there is great news: for the past two years, Hired (a job search marketplace) has found the tech pay gap to be
    %, but according to their 2019 survey, the gap has shrunk to 3%.However, until the wage gap is completely closed, it will make women feel undervalued in the tech industry, causing many women to leave the industry altogether.
    Interestingly, the wage gap varies by type of job. Computer programmers have the largest pay gap, about 11 percent, between men and women.
    For me, the most disturbing realisation was that as the number of women increases, the wage gap actually widens. Employed found that the gap was 42% for women with zero to two years of experience, but that jumped to five or 15 years.

    Why is there a gap?

    There is not just one thing, but several factors that lead to lower wages for women in technology. And yes, these are the causes of the wage gap everywhere, not just in tech.
    Women negotiate less often. Glassdoor found that 68 percent of women accept salary offers rather than negotiate, compared to 52 percent of men.
    Women are offered lower wages. Yes, it happens. Yes, it’s probably illegal. Yes, it has to stop. The good news is that women earn 3 percent less than men, down from
    percent last year. The bad news is that Hispanic women were offered 91 cents on the dollar for the same job compared to men, and blacks fared even worse at 89 cents.
    Women receive salary increases less often. Women who asked for a raise got one only 15% of the time, while men asked for one 20% of the time, the Harvard Business Review found.

    How to change something

    Small changes are added together. And women must take responsibility for changing the behaviours that contribute to this gap. Here are some ways to start:
    Businesses must ensure greater payment transparency. Many of the large companies I worked with had fixed salaries that were tied to specific positions. Yes, there was some discretion (especially when lifting), but it eliminated a lot of problems.
    Women should negotiate salary offers. We must understand that most employers set the first number while waiting to negotiate. You won’t offend anyone or look bad by asking for more. If anything, you’ll look less professional and less driven if you don’t try to negotiate. And yes, I say that in part to remind myself that my default, even as a freelancer, is to take the first offer.
    Everyone should encourage women to negotiate. This applies to men, other women, managers, professors, parents, friends, and spouses. Remember the women you know who can and should negotiate. Offer to practise negotiation with them.
    Women must learn to pay. Instead of taking what’s offered—and I’ve been guilty of this myself—women need to proactively know what they’re getting into and even make the choice of a particular company. With sites like Payscale and Glassdoor, there’s no excuse not to start the conversation with knowledge.
    Remove  silence. Talking about salary is definitely frowned upon, and some employers specifically forbid it. But at my first tech job, I noticed during happy hour chat that new hires were being hired at a higher salary than I was. And thanks to my father’s encouragement, I went to the manager and got an adjustment. But if the beer and wine hadn’t loosened the lips of my co-workers, I would never have known.
    Require employers to report wage differentials. Panelists at the Inclusion by Design: Equal Pay Day conference in New York offered an interesting idea: employers should be required to provide data on the wage gap, and the federal government should hold employers accountable.


Key #5: Encourage fair maternity policies so women feel safe while on leave.

Maternity leave is neither new nor exclusive to technology. But since (on average) only one in five tech workers is a woman, her absence is glaring. This means that maternity leave is more likely to hinder women’s career development in the technical field than in other fields where the proportion of workers on maternity leave is higher.

Women in Technology Face Frequently Asked Maternity Leave Questions

Women in tech often have smooth maternity leaves. But sometimes they don’t. And a bad experience at this crucial time can affect their entire career and willingness to continue in the tech industry.

Unfortunately, the following situations are all too common:

Lack of precedent or process. 


When a female colleague (who was hired after me) got pregnant, she was the first person in the department to ever give birth to a baby. The men in the department whose wives had children usually took a few days off and returned on Monday morning.
There was no process, no precedent, and no complete lack of awareness, which meant the whole thing was approached more like he was on an extended vacation of his own volition. This is not the case in many companies today, especially the larger ones. But it still happens—and more often than you think.

Loss of projects or even jobs. 


I know more than one woman who lost her job because of maternity leave. A particularly disturbing story was about a colleague whose male boss replaced her with an unqualified male friend. And this version of the story, where the woman is removed from high-profile projects when they return, is one I’ve heard many times.
pressure to cut your vacation short. The woman who was at the job opposite me (in another department) came back three weeks before the end of her vacation because her manager asked her to get a project release out the door. When I did some research, I was shocked to find that this situation is quite common.

The vast majority (83% of them) of women working in technology have experienced pressure to return to work earlier at some point during maternity leave. Almost one in three women in tech feared losing their job due to maternity leave. Even more concerning, 34% said the pressure came from their bosses or coworkers bad experience coming back as a new mother. Leaving a child and returning to work is a stressful time for many new parents. And one in four women said they had a very bad experience as a new mother working in tech.

A survey by the technology news site Recode revealed that the biggest concerns for new moms were the lack of on-site childcare and pumping out storage rooms, meeting rooms, or even server rooms.


What is the technical solution for maternity leave?

We have to admit that some companies, especially the bigger tech giants, have improved their vacation policies and offered flexibility. This makes a big difference in keeping women in the technique after giving birth. And this trend gives us hope.
Some companies provide generous maternity leave. IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon offer 20 weeks of paid vacation. Adobe moms get 26 weeks, while Google moms get 22 weeks.
Particularly impressive is Reddit’s 16 weeks of paid leave, plus an additional four months of disability leave that can be taken at any time—even staggered—in the year following childbirth. And I immediately took advantage of this kind of offer when I took a three-year sabbatical from a large tech company when each child was born.
added paternity leave. When my children were born, fathers received a week’s wages, and that was considered generous. But now Reddit and Adobe subscribers can wait up to 16 weeks. The proud priests of Microsoft, IBM, and Google get 12 weeks off.
flexible when working from home. Many tech companies have more liberal homework policies than companies in other industries. Even 18 years ago, I was able to work from home twice a week when I was pregnant, which eliminated the long commute in those days. According to Recode,
1% of tech women surveyed rated flexibility to work from home five out of five times more important.
After adding resources and talking to many women in tech, the maternity leave experience—like being a new mom in tech—seemed like a very hot or cold thing with very little heat.
Women in companies with progressive policies get the time off, flexibility, and support they need. But many are experiencing problems and challenges. While the industry has progressed, companies that are lagging must focus on maternity leave to help increase the acquisition and retention of women.

How to make a difference

Here are ways to improve maternity leave policies and experiences in the tech industry:
Equalize leave between men and women with gender policies. Etsy is a great example of this, offering 26 weeks off to all new parents.
Create a culture where men enjoy paternity leave. Offering paternity leave is great, but it only really works if men feel they can actually use it. Encourage employees at all levels to take paternity leave to show that taking a break with a newborn isn’t career-limiting.
Provide clean and private nursing rooms. I cringed when I read about women breastfeeding or pumping in server rooms and closets. Being able to pump breast milk is important for women returning to work and feeling accepted as new mothers. Thanks to companies that provide dedicated, welcoming, and private (of course) treatment facilities. Everyone else has to get to the ball—and fast.
Provide mentoring programmes for women returning to work. These are tough times, believe me. And by getting first-hand advice from someone who has recently been through the same journey, women feel supported and are less likely to leave.
Include the phase-disable option. The Harvard Business Review recommends allowing new mothers to gradually return to a full-time schedule and workload. A developer working on the other side of me chose this option and found it useful for making returns easier. He started with two days a week and then, after a month, added another day each week. By doing this, the company was able to retain and support a great employee.


Key #6: Change Culture and Perception

I recently interviewed a top technical expert at a leading technology company who had six men and one woman on the phone. I asked several technical questions with proper follow-up.
But when the expert answered (and I understood 100% of what he was talking about), another guy interrupted and said, “Keep it simple; remember we have PR girls on the phone.” Yes, it happened. And this is just my latest example of how women in tech are often seen as inferior to men.
Almost every woman in technology has been asked repeatedly to take notes in meetings. simply because we were the only women in the room. When I first asked, I did. Then a woman took me aside after the meeting and said it was humiliating us—and I would forget my pen and paper next time, so I had an excuse.
I can’t write about this without mentioning the widely circulated memo from a Google engineer saying that women are underrepresented in technology due to biological differences and male supremacy. Of course, they were fired. But it still happened. And it made women wonder how many other men feel the same way.
I did work with many men who treated me as an equal. And I certainly think it has improved since I entered the workforce in the mid-1990s. But culture remains an issue that I believe is both a symptom and a cause of women’s underrepresentation.

The Role of Culture in Women’s Perceptions

The Atlantic Video, “How did technology become so male-dominated?” bluntly says that men push women out of computer jobs because women don’t fit the “culture.” But this reasoning is really just code for saying that male programmers can’t date women. That’s a pretty bold claim, but the bottom line is that you can’t talk about this issue without discussing the role of culture.
I honestly think that male culture is largely a product of male dominance in this industry, and many of the cultural issues would resolve themselves if the gender percentage was more equal. But I have also seen firsthand how this culture leads to the devaluation of women.

The Role of Informal Communication: Luncheons, Happy Hours, and Office Parties, Oh My!

Many business relationships are born not through meetings but through activities where you get to know each other as people: lunches, happy hours, office parties, etc. But if you’re one of the only women on a team or in a company, you might not be invited—or you might not feel comfortable being there. Or, especially if the activity is aimed at men, you may simply not be interested in the invitation.
At one of my jobs, everyone in my department went to lunch together every Monday. And the restaurant was always this super-greasy pizzeria with salad or something other than pizza on the menu. I feel positive that if there were more women in the department, there would be at least one healthy option at lunch.
And then there’s the sticky situation at happy hour. Are you the only woman in the department? What if you get banned? What if someone says something inappropriate after a few beers? It was a mystery I never understood until another woman joined. And then there were two individual agreements: either we both went or neither of us did.
Culture does not change overnight. But some big changes have already happened and are coming. And women are more likely to consider technology because they feel the culture is welcoming. At least, that’s what I and all the tech companies investing this money in projects hope for.

Lori Wright, General Manager of Workplace Collaboration at Microsoft, summed up the impact of culture in an interview with Forbes:
“I believe women will work and stay in technology only if they feel welcome and have a voice. Women need to see technology as a place where they can belong. And technology needs to work hard to help women belong, because otherwise, companies are offering products that only represent half the population.
How do I change? Change starts with talking about it. It’s no secret that technology is dominated by men. Start an honest conversation with team members and listen to their thoughts. Get ideas and listen to concerns.
Plan outings and social events that appeal to both sexes. Instead of golf, opt for bowling at the end of the project award day. Plan a happy hour to celebrate the big milestone in a place where both sexes are welcome. Even better, a woman (or three) in the department could implement the plans.
training managers on inclusion and gender sensitivity. All managers should be required to attend gender awareness and inclusive environment training. Encourage departments to share ideas and tips.
Make it safe and helpful for women to talk. Change happens when women feel it’s okay to say no—I don’t want to take notes. Or let’s go somewhere else on a team trip. And what’s more, it’s safe to speak up when discrimination or harassment occurs.

More Steps to a Multifaceted Solution

Yes, this article focused on the lack of women in technology and how to fix it. But this problem is bigger than sex. Technology is a field dominated by white men. The industry lacks minorities, especially minority women, and especially in leadership positions.
Despite today’s focus on increasing minority representation, Facebook has nearly the same number of black (1.5%) and Hispanic (3.5%) employees in technical roles as it did in 2001.
(Each grew by just half a percentage point in five years.) Interestingly, Facebook increased the number of women in technical roles from 15 percent to 23 percent during the same period.
And for exactly the same reasons we’ve been discussing for a long time, we need people in tech from all perspectives and backgrounds, not just women.
Otherwise, there is a risk of creating products, services, and messages that only meet the needs of developers. But the good news—at least from our perspective—is that many of the same solutions we’ve come up with to increase the number of women in tech also help with racial representation and inclusion in the LGBTQ community.

We have covered a lot in this report. And we shared many practical ways to solve the problem. Yes, this is a big problem. But don’t drown. And don’t think it’s just for CIOs. This problem not only affects everyone, but it is everyone’s responsibility.
 Your words. Your action Standing up for yourself is the answer. The problem did not appear overnight. And it won’t be resolved tonight either. This is a multifaceted problem with an equally complex solution. But each of us has the power to contribute to gradual change.
By taking responsibility—and, most importantly, taking action—we can take steps towards a technology industry where women want to enter and have equal representation. And in the end, we are all better off.

Source: Website Planet



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