LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE GIRLS…
There’s a gender gap in tech engineering, and there’s little point denying it. I was pondering this because so many tech corporations now have diversity boxes to tick. And when it comes to recruiting female candidates for tech positions, this has become a major challenge.
Looking for answers to this problem, I came across an article in The Guardian, a London-based newspaper that provided a lot of food for thought. For a start, Google famously sacked an employee for suggesting that women were less biologically suited to working in tech roles than men, but that perceived “wisdom” still persists. Yet the data doesn’t support it. Yes, in the UK for example, only around 16% of Computer Science graduates are female, and the figures are similar for the USA, but we see a different story in other countries all around the world. In countries like India and Malaysia, you often find 50% or more of the students in computer studies classrooms are women, and this trend is on the rise. If there was a genetic reason for women not being suited to coding and other tech areas of application, you surely wouldn’t expect this. By comparison, in the UK the numbers of women graduating in Computer Science has fallen over the past decade to less than 20% of the total. No wonder the numbers employed in coding and other areas of computer tech are unbalanced, and this has become a major headache for companies with HR diversity policies that seek to promote a greater balance in all areas of the workplace.
At the heart of the matter, countries like the UK need to seek to redress the perception that computer science and technology in general is a man’s domain if they want to reverse the downward trend of women opting to make a career in coding and computer science. In the immediate and short term, it’s clear that companies wishing to find an employment gender balance would be well advised to focus their recruitment energy on the far east, which is producing ever increasing numbers of computer science graduates.
From a recruitment point of view, it seems that in the UK, Europe and the USA, female candidates for tech roles are going to be at a premium. If we apply supply and demand ideas to this, then women candidates ought to be commanding salary and package offers commensurate with their short supply. Obviously this provides an internal corporate stress for companies – on the one hand there’s a pressure to comply with the diversity goals of HR, and on the other hand there’s a pressure to comply with wage structure and cost management strictures of the accountants.
One thing’s for sure though – there has never been a better time for women to opt for a career in coding and other areas of tech. Come on, raise a glass. Let’s hear it for the girls!