It’s the 10th anniversary of the International Day of The Girl Child on 11 October 2022. This year, in tribute, we want to take a quick look at the current state of opportunities and equality for women and girls in the tech world, and highlight the importance of paying attention to how everyone can play a role in moving forward to elevate girls in this field.
International Day of the Girl Child
The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child in order to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. Around the globe, millions of girls face severe discrimination and abuse, and very little is being done to alleviate the issue. Whether it is because of issues like poverty, climate change, and recently Covid-19 taking available resources, more needs to be done to help and empower girls across the world and provide access to education and better living standards.
Challenges women and girls face in the tech industry
Discrimination towards women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workplaces has been documented and discussed at length, but many people still don’t know how deep the issue truly runs.
A study conducted by Studio Graphene, a tech innovation company, carried out an online survey to help identify challenges. Consisting of 500 people, they showed how systematic discrimination is still running rife in the tech and science industry. Of the 500 people surveyed, 50% stated that they have experienced discrimination and 20% have resigned as a direct cause of sexism and discrimination.
Although a small sample size this shocking revelation has been shown in many other statistics. David Needle points out that:
- In 2015, women received more than half of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in the biological sciences, but far less in computer sciences (18%), engineering (20%), physical sciences (39%) and mathematics (43%), according to the National Girls Collaborative Project.
- In 2020, women made up 28% to 42% of the GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft) workforce, according to self-reported data from Statista.
These are baby steps at least, but we, as an industry need to fast-track the pace of increasing female presence and opportunity in tech.
4 ways your company can support women in tech
Hire women – The simplest and most effective way to help fight discrimination is to take it into account when hiring employees. Aiming to have a more diverse workplace is a great start to becoming an ally for girls and women in tech.
Celebrate achievements of women in the industry – A great way to support women in the workplace is to celebrate their accomplishments in the space. As more and more awards and achievements are published, sharing and celebrating these achievements internally is a great way to motivate and expose employees to the advances made by women.
Have family-friendly policies- A major barrier to gaining a strong female presence in the workplace is family responsibility. Having a more flexible and understanding environment helps women succeed and thrive. Better maternity leave policies and even onsite childcare is a great start to having a diverse and thriving office
Recently, we celebrated our women at Blue Bean Software and the strength they show in the industry. Read about our exclusive Q&A here.
Encourage girls to code! Help break the stigma from early childhood that girls prefer dolls and playing house. Motivate young girls to discover the wonderful and magical world of technology and engineering through games such as Minecraft and Roblox, and learning coding from a young age. And definitely support amazing initiatives such as GirlCode. They are on a mission to empower 10 million women and girls with tech skills by 2030! Supplying the most in-demand skills for jobs of tomorrow 100% online, 100% FREE.