Making your way through the tech industry and creating your own niche could seem daunting sometimes, especially if you are a woman. Even if you make it through, it’s very lonely out there as there is a dearth of fellow women in the tech industry.
This brings us to the question of how can we include more women in tech. It cannot be made possible overnight but it isn’t an unachievable task either. We could make it happen if we could follow these short term and long term strategies.
- Improving ease of internet accessibility for women/girls globally: This can be a short-term or a long-term goal depending on the internet connectivity in the country. Statistics above show the gender disparity in the internet usage with a difference of 6-8%. With so many online coding portals like Udacity, Cousrera etc and opensource platforms like GitHub which gives access to open source projects, the internet could prove to be the best and only platform for women/girls who do not have access to coding courses in schools.
Short term goals:
- Familiarising yourself with platforms which support and encourage women in tech: Platforms like Girls Who Code, Women in Technology, Google Women Techmakers, help in networking with fellow women/girl coders. Local communities can also be built which can have weekly meetups where members could motivate each other.
- Role models to reach out to: We need role models who are halfway through in their career, whom we can better relate to. The void of role models around us can be filled only by including more women in technology.
Long term goals.
- Editing the elementary school syllabus: In the long run, this step is of utmost importance. If we are taught coding, familiarised with technology early on in our lives, we are better equipped to handle greater challenges further in our career. Also, technical education should be made available to all the students irrespective of the gender.
- Eliminating gender disparity on the whole: The gender disparity is not specific to just the tech industry. The following data (as of 2016) shows the gender disparity across various domains from media, financial services to healthcare. This under-representation could be changed only with a mindset change among the masses. By giving equal opportunities for women to try, fail and experiment in the domain they are working in.
We could unitedly follow these goals and make them happen if every woman in tech becomes an advocate for all the other women in tech.