Over recent years, the tech industry has grown exponentially and is expected to grow further in the future. But, no matter how empowering, progressive, and exciting the tech scene may seem, there’s one sector it’s lagging behind on: gender diversity. There’s no doubt that women are a minority in the tech scene- from the general workforce to managerial and leadership positions, and this needs to change. Tech companies should improve gender diversity for increased benefits, like new perspectives, tapping into new markets, and lowering the gender pay gap.
Key Statistics on Women in Tech
The tech industry has been heavily criticized for its homogeneity, yet it struggles to hire, recruit, promote, retain, and support women. The numbers speak for themselves:
- As of 2023, tech companies with over 10,000 employees report female representation at 26.2%. The percentage of women that hold tech-related careers has gone down post-Covid, because during the pandemic, working moms and partners shouldered more of the burden of juggling work, remote learning, and caring for the family. But Covid wasn’t all bad for women in tech because it let them work remotely.
- Even the five Big Tech companies, Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft (GAFAM), have a low ratio of female to male workers. Female employees in GAFAM make up between 28% (Microsoft) to 42% (Amazon). Microsoft has the smallest percentage of women in leadership (25%), while Facebook has the highest (33%).
- As of 2021, female-founded or co-founded startups barely tapped 25% of the market.
- Gaps in STEM degrees- There’s a significant disparity between the degrees earned by men and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). A PwC study revealed that only 27% of girls considered pursuing a tech course compared with 61% of boys. As of 2021, only 19% of women were taking careers in IT.
Even though a lot of thought, effort, and energy are being invested into promoting diversity in the workplace; at this current pace, it could take decades for there to be equal representation in the industry.
Understanding the Challenges
Women in the tech sector face education, employment, and business obstacles. A survey by the global technology association ISACA identified these top 5 barriers, including:
- The lack of female role models in tech further reinforces the perception that a career in tech isn’t for them.
- Fewer growth opportunities for women- Women leaders aspire to be promoted to senior positions. But, they face microaggressions, which undermine their authority and show that it will be more difficult for them to advance.
- Inequality in payment for the same amount of work without a clear reason.
- Women in tech lack mentors who may share gender-specific or life experiences that have shaped their careers or lives. For example, at a TECLA's Remote Room event, with Paula Monticelli, co-founder of CryptoMate, she dives deep into the challenges of being a woman in tech, including how hard it is to find educational spaces. Watch this and other insights in the video below:
Why We Need Women in Tech: A Powerful Business Decision
Bringing more female tech talent to your team will add immense value. Here’s how:
- More women in tech leadership roles increase revenue- According to this survey, companies that went from no female share in corporate leadership to a 30% share were linked to a 1% rise in net margin, which is roughly a 15% rise in profitability. While these women performed almost on par with their male counterparts, having female corporate leaders led to more diverse teams in upper management, lower gender discrimination overall, more engaged employees, better profits, and growth in general.
- Diverse teams generate consistently better ideas- Collaborating with diverse teams leads to better problem-solving and increased innovation. Such teams often onboard different thinking methods and are better positioned to understand your entire target demographic’s pain points. It’s also a great way to innovate on untapped markets.
- Women need role models in tech- Seeing female leaders in tech who’ve risen through the ranks in a male-dominated field is the motivation women need to venture into tech.
- Help close the wage gap sooner- Pay inequity is a major factor that keeps women from joining tech. But that gap is narrowing. Since entry-level tech positions pay more than other industries, getting more women in tech could mean closing the wage gap sooner.
Steps to Take to Fight Gender Bias
Here are steps you can take to fight the tech gender gap
- Embed inclusion and diversity into company culture from the get-go- Tech startups can hire female leaders early in their inception.
- Visibility- Businesses should ensure that everyone gets equal access to strategic projects.
- Build mentorship programs for women- Supporting women through mentorship programs is beneficial. They’re an opportunity to let female workers share the experiences that have shaped their careers or lives and how they rose through the ranks.
- Give everyone a voice- Ensure that everyone at the organization has a voice and the chance to be heard.
- Broaden your recruitment network- Check groups, schools, and platforms like TECLA.
- Ensure that women aren’t unintentionally excluded in the workplace.
- Increase employee communication training to lower the cases of misunderstandings and harassment, improving the overall work environment.
Partner with TECLA and Accelerate your Diversity Hiring Strategy
TECLA is committed to advancing women in technology. We hold free online events on employability for women. Also, we’ve partnered with renowned organizations in Latin America like Laboratoria, sponsoring workshops for women starting in tech, guest appearing in employability talks, and constantly supporting new female graduates with their passion for pursuing a career in tech.
If your company is looking to diversify its tech talent, contact TECLA today, and we’ll match you with world-class, diverse tech talent from LATAM.