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Women in Technology: Future Trends Indicate Escalating Workplace Inclusiveness

There’s a gender mismatch that is truly astonishing. More than 56 percent of professional posts in the US are held by women; you’ll see more than 55 percent of women using Facebook and Twitter, and in social gaming, more than 60 percent of users are women, and the average age of the female user happens to be 43 years. Yet, when it comes to tech jobs, the statistics fly in the opposite direction.

Women hold just 28 percent of proprietary software jobs; only 25 percent are full-fledged IT professionals; only 11 percent reach executive grade in Fortune companies, and a dismal 5 percent of tech startups are actually owned or promoted by women.

According to Bedrock IT, Ottawa’s top IT Services & IT Support firm, women in technology can look forward to encouraging ideas and innovative trends that are poised to correct the gender mismatch.   

Women Are Making Their Presence Felt in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Careers

By 2017, STEM majors in colleges rose 43% in a field hitherto dominated by men. Traditionally, women found it difficult to breach STEM careers. Even though 60 percent of women under 12 evinced interest in computer science, those actually receiving undergraduate science degrees plummeted to 4 percent.

Now comes the good news. Stanford undergraduate women notching up computer science degrees rose amazingly from 11 percent to 31 percent, and UC Berkeley saw women STEM degree holders doubling their presence from 11 percent to 22 percent.

The problem apparently lies in the way construction and engineering kits are designed. These tools address the technicalities of engineering education but lack the creative inputs that make technical learning interesting for girls.

GoldieBlox, an interactive toy company changed everything by designing tools that altered gender stereotyping and encouraged girls to embrace technology in a fun way. The company marketed the image of the “Girl Engineer.” And, how did girls respond?  The company clocked $1 million in orders within a month of incorporation!

Technology Firms Are Changing at Breakneck Speed From “Geeky” to “Girl-Oriented”

Technological progress was persistently promoting the male-dominated geeky stereotype for ages, an image that had no incentive for aspiring women. But the winds of change are gradually and commendably changing the techno landscape.

The transformational change has a lot to do with innovative technologists like Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Marissa Mayer of Google and Yahoo fame, just two inspiring examples. Their success wasn’t achieved overnight, but their legacy is inspiring and nurturing a new band of future female business leaders.

The notion that technology is for boys and isn’t something that can be enjoyed and cultivated as a career option for girls is changing as tech becomes more appealing to women. Women are realizing that they can conquer geographical divides and create stuff that makes a massive difference to global communities. Women are unleashing their creative potential to fast-track an almost limitless expansion into a male-dominated arena to become world leaders.

Tech Companies Are More Open to Diversification and Inclusiveness

Tech companies are opening their eyes to some revealing statistics and revamping recruitment policies to induct more women.

  • Out of the Harvard sophomores that declared computer science as their career goal, not less than 41 percent were women, and that represents a 34 percent increase over the previous class.
  • The University of Virginia’s Engineering School enrollment reveals that 31 percent are women.
  • Women, on the whole in the US, now hold more bachelors and graduate degrees than men.
  • Fortune 500 companies with women directors notched up 53 percent increase in return on equity, 42 percent increase in return on sales, and 66 percent increase in return on invested capital compared to their male-only counterparts.
  • In 2017, 400 women-led companies raised not less than $5 billion in equity financing and clocked $4 billion in revenues.

Suddenly, tech companies, tuned to ground realities, are hiring more women and women of color like Hispanics and Afro-Asians that are underrepresented in the tech hierarchy. Women applying for tech jobs are finally getting the red carpet welcome they deserve.   

There’s a Nurturing Network, Inspiring Communities, and the Feeling of Oneness Encouraging Women to Break Tech Barriers

Imagine somebody holding hands, supporting you through the highs and lows of life, ensuring that you’re fulfilling your career goals no matter what – many women would love to have a supportive network that does that and more. And we’re not talking about family – though that’s equally important.

  • Achieving gender parity by 2027; that’s the aim of “Girls Who Code” –  This is a 90,000-strong community of women IT professionals connected to their peers and newbies, scaling their programs to reach all corners of the nation to ensure women stay focused and invested in computer science.  
  • Imagine being propelled from classroom to boardroom: That’s what “Women In Technology (WIT)” does: WIT takes care of you when you’re pursuing tech education, and you need to match what you study with your career goal. It provides the skills that help you nurture leadership qualities. Once you’re well established and successful, you can help mentor newcomers.
  • Empowering women that are underrepresented; TechWomen: Set up by the  U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, TechWomen is a platform designed to help women in America hailing from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East cultures that are denied access to fulfilling STEM careers. Female role models mentor girls as they transition from science backgrounds to full-fledged STEM careers.

Using these nurturing platforms a woman gets single-point computer access to podcasts, videos, and interviews with tech celebrities, and loads of informative resources that are useful for beginners and novices as they are to professionals and veterans of tech battles.

For Women Aspiring for STEM Careers, Wonder Women Are Setting Inspiring Examples

The Sheryl Sandbergs and Marissa Mayers of the world are not the only role models that are worth looking up to; there are strong women closer home within our communities that are highly motivated and making a huge difference to their ecosystems.

Reshma Saujani, New York: CEO, “Girls Who Code” – Touring New York Schools, Saujani realized that given the demand for 1.4 million jobs in the Tech sector by 2020, only 3 percent would be attracting girls. Aiming to correct the gender imbalance in technology, Saujani set up 500 “Girls Who Code” Clubs bringing advanced computer science education and resources to the doorsteps of women, schools, and communities.

Jedidah Isler, Tennessee, named one of the 100 most influential African Americans: Isler became the first black woman to break into the male bastion of Astrophysics after receiving her Ph.D. from Yale. Despite achieving blinding success in her profession, she remains grounded in her responsibility of ensuring that young women of color live to enjoy the sunshine of inclusion, empowerment, and access to the breathtaking developments that are powering STEM fields. Through the immensely popular “Vanguard: Conversations with Women of Color in STEM,” a Google Hangout series, Isler introduces STEM role models to inspire participating women.

Adriana Gascoigne, California, technologist, and founder of “Girls in Tech” – Adriana never imagined that a modest gathering of motivated tech women would grow into a 25,000 strong community covering six continents. Girls in Tech is heavily invested in exposing girls at a young age to STEM projects, and the group regularly conducts app-building and designing workshops. The group launched mentorship initiatives that motivated women to participate successfully in Lady Pitch Night, the globe’s most significant women’s business competition.

Technology Trends Shaping Futuristic Vistas for Women to Explore

Women need to discover new possibilities, provide shape and substance to future business models, and explore trending technologies that will decide their destiny.

  • The virtual world is increasingly connected to cloud services and products that rely on sensor data, data analytics, rapid reporting, and corrective methodologies. The “wearables” niche is a new market conservatively estimated to attract investments exceeding $30 billion.
  • Data security and personal privacy are gaining priority in the wake of increasing cyber-attacks by malicious sources.
  • The current Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) which predicts the tripling of global IP traffic by 2022, estimates that more than 80 percent of all traffic on the net will be driven by video, a dimension that women are better equipped to explore.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning (ML) are powering a new era of agile robotics with greater cognitive power, equipped to simplify the most complicated tasks.
  • Rather than merely recording and storing vast amounts of data, we are moving to an era where real-time data aggregation and analysis is assuming top priority when systems become increasingly connected via the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • The MAGNA Mobile Advertising Forecast predicts that mobile advertising will account for the majority of digital ad spend by 2022.

How Can Women Channel Their Innovative Energy and Future-Proof Their Businesses in the Coming Decade?

If you’re a woman excited by the breadth and depth of emerging technological challenges, here are some tips that help you realign your value systems:

Don’t Wallow in the Present, Accept the Challenge of Change

Women need to understand that they are straitjacketing themselves in a lot of personal biases and life experiences, and they need to break free from stereotypes to accept change to grow and learn new technologies.

More Than Anything, Its Diversity That Propels Change

By diversity, we mean acceptance of new ideas and innovation, and that comes when you expose yourself to professionals carrying differing skills, viewpoints, and experiences. Your individual brilliance will not be eclipsed when you work in a team and share common values and goals.

Don’t Be Overly Dependent on the Knowledge and Experience You Have Accumulated

Undoubtedly, a woman’s skills and past experiences play a significant role in molding her decision-making ability. But when you’re expected to think out of the box, devote some quality time purely for extending knowledge frontiers instead of becoming complacent about the knowledge you have gained and what you’ve become.

Conclusion

The world is changing with unprecedented momentum, and automation is sweeping all industries. Despite the seemingly overwhelming odds, women can break the glass ceilings in a male-dominated ecosystem if they accept challenges and transform their way of thinking.

The future for women lies in the tech world where bachelors and graduate degrees lay the right foundation for notable achievements in a field that lavishly rewards sharp skillsets, budding talent, and cutting-edge innovation – qualities that women possess in abundance.   

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