There needs to be a bigger push to equip girls with the relevant skills, insight, information, and experience in technology-related fields. Just letting them know that this is an option is a big step. We need to inform our girls that they can achieve and become tech leaders, breaking the notion that it’s unattainable.
Empowering Women with Coding Skills
It was rare to find a female who was looking to build a career in technology when she was in school, she says. However, organizations such as GirlCode, an NPO focused on empowering more young girls and women with coding skills, are doing away with these mindsets, and represent a massive and positive step towards empowering girls to take more of an interest in STEM skill areas, eventually feel motivated to pursue tech careers and take on leadership roles.
“As a woman, it’s been difficult to juggle building a career and raising a young family. I think as women, we sometimes feel, and sometimes are, unseen or unheard in the workplace,” she says. “Global studies show that up to 81% of caregivers are females and that we spend as much as 50% more time giving care than males.
This I believe, adds to the complexity of women navigating corporate dynamics and progression, as providing care often means being ‘less available’ than our male counterparts, which unfortunately, sometimes does not work in our favor.
In the tech space, it has been repeatedly documented that women find it particularly difficult to be in an industry where they are significantly underrepresented. Traditionally, tech has been a male-dominated industry, and only a few women made it to the top, this may discourage women from venturing into a career in tech.”
Equal Exposure and Equal Opportunity
There is a wealth of benefits to having more women embrace positions of leadership in the technology space, and companies would do well to provide women equal exposure and opportunities for promotion.
“It can be challenging and exhausting to manage the complexities of being a woman in a male-dominated industry. I was incredibly lucky to have mentors, coaches, and bosses who encouraged me not to sacrifice who I actually am. More women need to hear this message – and the industry will be better for it!” says Williams.
Globally, there is a concerning lack of women in leadership positions in technology. The World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap report revealed that just 24% of leadership roles in technology were occupied by women. In South Africa, Women in Tech ZA reports that just 23% of tech jobs are occupied by women, accounting for 56,000 out of 236,000 ICT roles in the country.
Exposing Young Girls to STEM Skills and Tech Careers
Amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), these stats pose challenges as digital tech shapes work and daily life ahead. To boost female tech representation, expose young girls to STEM skills and tech careers through grassroots efforts and education.
Considering women’s representation and diverse perspectives, we should prioritize empowering more women in the technology sector, recognizing their leadership potential.
By Lianne Williams Marketing Director at leading fibre provider, Vuma.