A lot has been said about encouraging women participation in tech, but below are few benefits of women inclusion in tech:
Diversity and More Revenue
A 2020 article by Forbes, on the reasons why we need more women in tech, reports that, over the past five years, companies with gender diversity, delivered slightly better returns and outperformed less diverse companies.
Companies that hire and retain more women, put themselves in a position to, automatically gain a competitive advantage.
Since men and women see things differently, interacting with a diverse team of people, with alternative viewpoints ensures that companies are better prepared to serve consumers.
Also read, Encouraging More Women In Technology
This is a benefit that extends to stakeholders as well.
Encouraging women participation in tech, especially, in leadership positions, ensures a steady stream of role models that other women can resonate more with.
Strong role models, will encourage more boys and girls, to pursue their interests and careers in tech, thus, increasing the hiring pool diversity.
Seeing people who understand the challenges that a particular gender encounter, makes it more believable that, anyone can be successful if they put in the hard work.
Factors Preventing Women Participation in Tech
We could argue about how more men study tech-related courses than women and we would not be wrong
However, the underlying reasons for this is not that, men have inclinations towards tech than women. The factors below play a role:
Unequal Access to Education
African countries, for instance, are still battling with patriarchy and its systems, as a result, these systems, heavily contribute to why far fewer girls than boys receive education.
Also read, More Women Needed In Tech
For the girls with access to education, more than a few, take subjects that are believed, will help them handle a home in the future.
If girls are not given equal exposure and access, to not just education, but to tech-related subjects/courses, how can we be certain that, it is the case that men are more inclined towards STEM/tech, than women?
The bulk of the solutions, to ensure more women participation, usually, revolves around starting children in tech, from a young age. This goes to explain how important education is.
Cultural stereotypes is closely related to the point stated above and it is, mostly, the reason for gender bias and inequality.
With how far the world has come, the thoughts that men are more capable workers than women; that women are nurturers and should stick to roles in that line, or roles which support men, in achieving their dreams, are still prevalent.
Also read, Encouraging Women To Be Active In Tech
Problems currently faced by women already in tech include the following:
In addition to being under-represented in tech, women are also underpaid.
According to a report by Pew Research Center, women in computing fields, earn 87% of what men earn and the numbers are, even, worse for black women in STEM, who earn around 87% of white women’s salaries and just 62% of what men earn.
Lack of Access to Funds
An article from Disrupt Africa, early this year reports that, globally, women-led start-ups, only receive 2% of all venture capital funding.
If this is dim, then, the picture within enterprise tech is dimmer. Additionally, of all start-ups, only 22% are founded by at least one woman.
While specific data is lacking in Africa, sources have suggested that, only 9% of start-ups have women leaders.
Also read, Networking: A Key to Women’s Participation In Tech
True, women have come a long way, but they are not halfway through to the changes needed.
It is apparent that a lot of work still has to get done, to ensure women’s participation in tech, majorly, on restrictive systems and the ensuing perceptions in the minds of both genders.
While active participation of women in tech, emphasizes growth, the benefits are far-reaching.
They extend beyond individuals, to the world in general.
Featured Image: womenintechafrica
Don’t miss important articles during the week. Subscribe to cfamedia weekly digest for updates.