Women are making an impact in technology, but the statistics are still shocking. According to a Women and Technology Study conducted for PwC some years ago, only 3% of women said a career in technology is their first choice, 78% of students couldn’t name a famous women working in technology, and back around 2017, a mere 5% of jobs in the technology industry were held by women. – IWD
According to aauw.org, only 21% of engineering majors are women, and only around 19% of computer and information science majors are women. A study from STEMWOMEN states that the percentage of female graduates with core STEM degrees is growing, however the split is still only 26% – and only 24% in reference to women in the STEM workplace.
So, as part of International Women’s Day, we decided to #BreaktheBias around women working in STEM. We spoke to one of our team on her experiences of being a woman in STEM, how things have changed and continue to change, and why they want to #BreaktheBias for the younger generation.
Service Delivery Manager, Jennifer joined Dynavics 2021 and has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. She also has a Bachelor of Computer Science and an International Diploma in Business Analysis.
Do you believe there is a gender bias in STEM companies?
I think traditionally there has been, but over the 20 years that I have worked in IT, I have witnessed a shift and have been lucky enough to work alongside some incredible women. It’s still not perfect, as with anything in life, but things are moving in the right direction. I believe that women help to bring balance to the workplace and provide a different and very important point of view.
Is there anything you would like to see changed within the industry/in education?
I would love to see more inspirational and motivational women speak in schools and workplaces to dispel the traditional image of IT. It’s not just about developers (stereotypically men) coding and being antisocial, but that the relevant skills can be achieved by anyone and more so, that there are many types of roles that are important in IT.
Are there any other ways you champion gender equality?
I believe in diversity and inclusion on all levels, not isolated to just gender. At my previously company, I championed an initiative that promoted programming with school-age girls who were making subject choices for their GCSE’s and helped demonstrate the virtue of choosing STEM subjects. As a Mum of two small boys, I try to be the best example of a working Mum as I can be and a constant reminder that boys and girls are equal and are unique and capable in their own ways.
How/why would you encourage women to pursue a career in technology?
Whether we like it or not, technology is important in modern society. It touches every facet of our lives and moves forward relentlessly. As such, I would encourage all women to pursue a career in technology as it is a challenging industry that constantly allows people to learn and grow, it is current and unlikely to be phased out long-term and generally supports a good standard of living. For anyone who is interested in making a leap into technology, learning some basic programming and project implementation methodology is a good starting point.
What led you to pursue a career in technology?
I guess a bit of luck to start off with. When I left high school at 16 years of age, I had no idea what I wanted to do in life, so I let my final scores guide me into a course at University, and I guess the rest is history. From sitting in a lecture hall studying Computer Science, predominately filled with men, to working in many different roles in technology – programming, business analysis, SME, service delivery, I feel right at home working in IT and more specifically in software delivery. It has afforded me so many opportunities – travelling the world implementing Dynamics NAV / BC, meeting amazing end-users and stakeholders and working with some of the best technologists globally.
Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.