Written by Phoebe Steel
Women have battled with the gender pay gap within the technology sector since technology became a career path. A plethora of studies all confirm that women have felt discriminated against when identifying a gender-balanced workforce. 78% of large organisations have admitted to having a gender pay gap, failing to provide the same salaries to men and women who do the same job. Technology is a fundamental element to everything we do, so is it fair to point out how much further we could be if there wasn’t so many social barriers in the way of our technological development?
The gender pay gap has caused a huge knock on effect across all industries, however the technology industry in particular is still at a standstill. STEM jobs account for opportunities to work within science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These industries are fundamental to the development of society which expand every aspect of our lives. However, only 15% of women make up for the STEM job workforce. The education of these STEM industries are predominately male, women don’t even account for more than 40% of the balance . A lack of female role models makes it hard for women to feel motivated in their passions, causing uncertainty as to whether women would feel accepted walking into a male dominated industry. This lack of representation is a slippery slope as future generations can go without identifiable career paths in which they can aspire too, making it a less desirable profession.
Is the technology industry setting an optimistic precedent that can inspire young girls to pursue their own dreams in technology?
The gender pay gap is an on-going learning process as companies still have an alarmingly long way to go, even since reports began it has failed to shift dramatically. A woman should be made to feel that their career dreams are just as achievable as a man’s, not only in terms of what money they would be paid, but to feel as though their knowledge and skillset isn’t overlooked. To create an inclusive culture, organisations need to infuse diversity across all measures of its work. Our future rests in the hands of the generations exceeding us, but how is this possible for the tech industry when opportunities are persisted by old-fashioned expectations of what gender should be able to understand complicated coding sequences and how to navigate certain technologies.
How can WE change this?
Whilst this still isn’t something that can happen overnight, we can continue to utilise technology in the best way we know how to, passing on information digitally.
The use of social media spiked during the pandemic, people stuck at home meant they were able to fill up their spare time with new projects, many of these people taking to the inspiration of career themed accounts so that people could continue to utilise their skills and create a community of like minded people interested in their craft.
There has been a huge rise in career-based Instagram accounts across the globe, encouraging women specifically to feel more confident working within male industry and mark their stamp. To shed positivity and inspiration into the scope of this article, here is a collection of some of the Instagram accounts that paved portable inspiration into the lives of women during the never ending lockdowns. These female-run accounts combined their love of computer science with social media, offering advice to other women holding a passion for technology.
- @herhelloworld- Holly has been working in the tech industry since 2015 after graduating from the University of Surrey. She is an engineer at Microsoft and shares her tips and tricks for making it in the world of technology.
- @girlsknowtech- Marie is a Software Engineer by day and a blogger and YouTuber by night who will often showcase her impressive computer set up, as well as showcasing her organisational skills amongst her collection of cute notepads and pens.
- @codergirl_- Laura loves to post IG reels on how to execute coding and how she runs her databases.
- @estefanniegg- A computer scientist who loves everything that comes with computer engineering. Again, showcasing her impressive computer set up she is mainly a YouTuber who will take on fun technology based challenges, inventing things using coding and electronics.
- @ndakota_kate- Makes her mission to empower women in or hoping for a career in STEM jobs. As a NASA Aero Engineer herself, she creates reels that encourage girls to stop doubting themselves at progressing within the industry.
Code First Girls is an organisation well worth knowing about! Dedicated to actively creating change within the tech industry and helping women gain the confidence and skills to inspire their love for technology, they offer free coding courses to girls and have delivered over £20 million worth of free technology education. They present a range of opportunities to young women to give them all the skills to stamp their mark within a male-dominated industry with the hope to make it not so categorically male idolised.
To find out more on the work Code First Girls do, visit https://codefirstgirls.org.uk/courses/
Here at Berkeley Square IT, we hope to see a diversity spike amongst the women beginning their careers in STEM jobs, inspiring young girls especially is important as it also contributes to their confidence from a young age, showing them they can follow their dreams regardless of preconceived ideas. The gender pay gap is a slow process, the aim of this article is to identify that there are female-run platforms out there that can help women feel comfortable in their craft and ultimately boost the diversity across the technology industry.