Let's be honest: the tech industry has a long way to go when it comes to fair gender representation. That's why we're dedicating this blog to exploring women's journey in tech so far. We want to celebrate women making strides in the industry while acknowledging existing challenges. We're here to talk about all things women in tech, from the good to the bad to the downright inspiring.
The Good Old Days
Over 150 years ago, Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer program and was widely considered the first computer programmer. Since then, women have been at the forefront of some major technological milestones.
It's crazy to think that in the 1940s, women dominated the software engineering industry, but as the industry became more desirable for men, women became a shrinking minority.
The Recent Years
Post-1940s, the tech industry has been a boys' club. Most computer science majors have been men, and the idea of a woman in a leadership role in tech isn't exactly the norm.
To know just how bad it's been, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women held just 25% of all computing-related occupations in 2019. And get this: on average, women in tech jobs were paid 81 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.
But it's not just about the pay gap. Workplace discrimination and harassment have also been significant issues for women in tech. According to the Women in Tech Report 2022, 92.5% of tech women reported experiencing workplace discrimination.
But it doesn't end there. 86.8% of women in tech reported experiencing sexual harassment.
Take a look at these disheartening statistics on women in tech:
The Changing Curve
Hereon, things are looking up, albeit at a snail's pace. Over the past few years, there's been a concerted effort to increase diversity and inclusivity in the industry, and it's slowly starting to pay off.
For starters, let's talk about the gender pay gap. While it's still a far cry from equality, the gap has been closing recently. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows some hopeful stats about the gender pay gap in computer and mathematical occupations:
- In 1979, the first year comparable earnings data were available, women's earnings were 62 percent of men's.
- Since 2004, the women's-to-men's earnings ratio has ranged from 80 to 83 percent.
Besides, the percentage of women in tech jobs has also been on the rise. In 2023, women hold 29% of all computing-related occupations, a 4 percent increase from 2014. Although it's not a huge jump, it's a step in the right direction. Additionally, most tech professionals agree that there are more opportunities for women in tech today than in the last five years.
So who's to be credited with this progress? There are a lot of companies and initiatives out there that are doing their part to promote diversity and inclusivity in tech.
Take Women Who Code, a non-profit organization that aims to close the gender gap in tech by providing them with networking and scholarship opportunities.
And we aim to do our part with our flagship hackathon, wmn; 2023, open only for women and non-binary folks.
If you're a coder, here's more about the hackathon:
Wmn; is a gathering of hundreds of talented, kick-ass women — a rare atmosphere that is difficult to come across.
The mission is to bring together the most brilliant minds in coding and enable them to build products that matter. In an inspiring and inclusive environment that helps you churn out the best ideas, expect your inner tech goddess to be unleashed.
If you want to build something cool, apply at wmn.community, and join us on the 27th and 28th of May in Bengaluru!
The Road to Equality Ahead
Despite the challenges, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future. First, more and more women are pursuing tech-related degrees, with the number of female tech entrepreneurs rising. By continuing to build on this momentum, the future of women in tech looks full of promise.
According to the UNESCO Women in STEM report, the number of women with STEM degrees is steadily increasing.
If you want to learn the steps to ensure continued progress toward a more diverse and inclusive space, we recommend starting with TechCrunch's "A beginner's guide to diversity, equity and inclusion."
It's up to all of us to do our part in promoting diversity and inclusivity in tech. At the most basic level, it starts with educating ourselves about the fights women have fought. We can’t empathize with our peers' struggles without learning about the struggles first.
The next step is to become advocates for change — supporting women and non-binary folks at our workplaces and homes and helping organizations that are striving to make a difference.
By working together, we can create a future where women and non-binary folks in tech are not only supported but also celebrated and credited. Where diversity and inclusivity are the norm.
Stay tuned for more updates and interact with the Devfolio community at:
Until then, Never Stop Building 🛠️