As we celebrate another graduation season, we are once again faced with the statistics that although more women are graduating college than men, the percentage of those with degrees in Technology is alarming. After 20+ years of “Women in Technology” focused programing, why does it seem like no progress is being made?
Women in Technology
Historically, the drop of girls interested in STEM fields begins to wane in Middle School. Why is that? It’s a question I’m witnessing firsthand as I see my 10-year-old begin to shy away from loving Science, because the reports are hard, and she prefers social studies where she can do a power point report instead.
My number one suggestion to remedy this issue is to consider the visibility of careers labeled as “tech.” The idea of sitting behind a desk, with big headphones and even larger computer screens is what our society shares as being involved in the technology sector. To our downfall, we don’t necessarily highlight the myriad of positions that support technology development, implementation, and use.
What is a “Tech” Job?
I once spoke at a NH Tech Alliance – TechWomen Ambassador’s program and asked a group of 7th and 8th grade girls what they considered tech jobs. Immediately they talked about software programmers, but soon fell silent as they couldn’t think of another example. As a recruiter, I may not do a technology job, but I know a lot about all there is to offer.
To help give some context to our conversation, I used the discussion point of what type of jobs are involved in making a video game. They were shocked when we started talking about all the people that contributed, and all the varied tech jobs that are necessary to make something they could all relate to.
Tech writing, graphic design, UI/UX, software development, product management, quality assurance, business analytics & tech sales all play a role – and they are all such different jobs that make up a “tech product.” Next time I’ll pull up the example of all the tech jobs at TikTok!
Increase Visibility Early On
Once we have these students engaged, visibility is key as to what the jobs look like & what paths to find them. There are great resources at local colleges and universities, and local companies who build relationships with these educators get the chance to showcase their company and jobs to future talent. When it comes to women in technology, it is tremendously hard to envision yourself in a job that you don’t know much about – and can’t seem to find someone who is similar to you already doing it.
Consider Untapped Potential
There are also internal paths that should be encouraged and explored once women have entered the workforce. Just because someone may not have technical degree, their skill sets may prove to be adaptable and better suited for roles in technology departments. Many of the fresher generations joining the work force have innate technology skills they haven’t even considered tapping in their careers but given the visibility and chance to showcase lesser-known talents, employers may find themselves surprised by the secret squad of technology gurus at their fingertips!
Tech is everywhere, and only growing. Increasing the number of women in technology has been an industry-wide goal for years. Visibility and representation are crucial in visualizing yourself pioneering an expanding frontier. My ask of you is to share your “technology” job, and how you found that path with every student you meet! You never know who you might inspire to step into the rewarding and challenging field of technology careers.
About Alexander Technology Group
Alexander Technology Group is the leading provider of technology staffing and recruiting services across Greater Boston and New Hampshire. Since 2007, Alexander Technology Group has provided qualified technology professionals, on a temporary and direct-hire basis, to thousands of organizations throughout the local market.
Learn more and search jobs at https://alexandertg.com