The women who changed the tech world
Ada Lovelace: the world’s first computer programmer Hedy Lamarr: The Inventor of Wi-Fi
Annie Easley: NASA rocket scientist
Radia Perlman: Mother of the Internet
These names may be unfamiliar to you, yet these women have all helped improve the world of tech in their own way.
From World War II to the 1960s, women played a vital role in the IT industry. They were the largest skilled technical workforce in the computer industry until the mid-1960s.
However, in the 1970s, there was a change in perspective: government and industry realized the power of computers and wanted to take exclusive use of them.
Women were gradually eliminated and replaced by better paid and better qualified men.
“Today, companies still perceive it as profitable to treat women differently from men, to pay them less”. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recently spoke out against the gender pay gap, prevalent in the tech space where giants like Google have been accused of systematically underpaying women.
In May 2022, the company argued that it would be too complicated to compile and deliver payroll records requested by the US Department of Labor.
In August 2022, the Silicon Valley company was sued over the leaking of a software engineer’s 10-page manifesto criticizing diversity initiatives and claiming that men hold more leadership positions than women in tech due to “biological differences“.
Here is the percentage of global representation of women in tech.
The latter has tended to increase very slightly since 2019. “Diversity and inclusion” initiatives have been put in place but this is still to break even. In 2022, one in three women have considered leaving the tech industry.
And today? What is the status of women in the tech industry?
The report “The Future Tech Workforce: Breaking Gender Barriers” identified five key barriers faced by women in tech:
- Lack of mentors (48%)
- Lack of female role models in the field (42%)
- Gender bias in the workplace (39%)
- Unequal growth opportunities compared to men (36%)
- Unequal pay for the same skills (35%)
The 2020 ISACA Study gives us other additional figures:
● 75% of women say their employer does not have a suitable leadership training
● program or growth perspective.
● 8 out of 10 women say their managers are men and only 8% say they have
● never experienced gender bias in the workplace.
● 48% of women report some form of discrimination in the recruitment or hiring
● More than 50% of women suffer from impostor syndrome.