You don’t need to work at a big tech company to see the enormous discrepancy between women and men in the field. According to research, women make up only 20% of employees at tech jobs. This number is even more shocking given that women are more than half the workforce in the US. And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information systems managers are among the top wage earners in the country. What’s causing these major differences in employment within the field, and how can we go about fixing it?
A number of nonprofits have popped up over the past few years to try and identify and help the problems that have lead to this lack of women and girls in tech. While some are devoted to helping expand diversity training at companies or improving the lives of women already in tech, others focus on what’s commonly referred to as the pipeline problem. In short, if we want women in tech then we need little girls dreaming of tech careers. It can be tough when social norms tend to impose a negative view of girls in tech. Changing these stereotypes for the youngest generation could have a huge impact on what the future of women and girls in tech looks like.
1. Django Girls
Django Girls is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping girls fall in love with computer programming. They put together free workshops on coding, online resources and tutorials, and foster a love of information early on. To date, they’ve hosted workshops and events in 93 countries across the globe. They’ve connected those who want to teach with kids who want to learn. And, in turn, they’ve hopefully nurtured the future of the tech industry.
Founded in 2012, ChickTech supports women and girls in tech with education and mentorship opportunities. Their goal is to get women to see themselves as leaders in the industry. From 3D printing workshops to classes on negotiation tactics, their support of women and girls in tech has made a huge impact. There are ChickTech Chapters across the country, with more starting up regularly.
While getting more women into the tech industry is an important cause, there are many other underrepresented groups in the field as well. codebar is dedicated to improving diversity in tech — from women to members of the LGBTQ community and more. They provide a safe and nurturing environment for people from all walks of like to learn programming. While getting women and girls into tech is a great goal, codebar goes above and beyond.
If you’re a woman interested in tech, a parent of a daughter, or simply someone who wants to share their love of this field with others, consider reaching out to one of these organizations. Your time, knowledge or financial help can help shape the future.