Over the years the number of women working in digital technology roles has declined, but more recently there have been improvements.
However, women still remain underrepresented in digital technology roles, according to a new study for Scotland’s Digital Technology Skills Group, which also revealed that women account for 18 percent of the workforce.
The study found that many schoolgirls are interested in digital technology subjects and careers, suggesting that by raising awareness of the opportunities in an inspirational and credible way may attract girls into technology education and careers.
Evelyn Walker of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, who is chairwoman of the gender work stream, said the imbalance starts while girls are in school, making it important that solutions are developed to tackle this issue from early years onwards.
What could happen if more women worked in male-dominated tech industries? Sue Charman-Anderson, founder of Ada Lovelace Day, said: “Early voice recognition software didn’t always recognise female voices, because none of the developers had been female and no-one thought to test out the technology on women.”
“New laptops and phones aimed at women would focus on technical specifications and features rather than on being pink,” said Naomi Climer, president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Actions in place in the Tackling the Technology Gender Gap Together agenda include greater and improved use of role models in schools, extending the reach of technology into other subjects, promoting the benefits of gender parity and flexible workplaces, and supporting employers to attract, retrain, and promote female participation.
“Attracting more females to enter digital technology careers is only part of the solution. Women should be encouraged to remain in the sector and to progress into interesting, rewarding, and senior roles,” said Ms. Walker. The world could be a very different place if there were more women in tech.