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Empower women to take up more positions in tech

Empower women to take up more positions in tech

By Audrey Chanakira
Mobile App Developer at Green Enterprise Solutions.

Our lives have gone digital. From the products we use daily to the content we consume online, tech companies are increasingly influencing the direction of humanity and creating the solutions of the future.

We should desire to inspire and push young girls and women to be part of this transition, and to break the digital divide between the two genders. Women have a decisive role to play in shaping digital transformation and ensuring that it contributes to a better and more equitable future.

Empowering young girls in STEM is a huge investment for any country. STEM is a common abbreviation for four connected areas of study: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The gender gap in STEM is alarming because it shows how women are at risk of getting left behind in an ever-evolving digital workforce.

There is an extremely low percentage of women in the tech sector, women remain underrepresented, underpaid, and often discriminated against in the tech industry due to societal, cultural, and traditional beliefs. At the university level, fewer young girls choose tech-related careers. With very few women ultimately working in proper tech positions. However, there is no reason girls should not be in technology, I certainly can’t think of any.

As a mobile app developer, I’ve made it my mission and believe I must motivate and stimulate women and young girls to take up space in technical roles in their businesses or institutions because their input matters. The tech industry needs gender diversity to continue thriving.

Globally the share of women in executive positions and management is increasing at a fast rate. A recent study shows that Africa tops the proportion of women in senior management with a percentage of 39% followed by Southeast Asia with 38%. The same should be happening in the tech industry. Women need to be encouraged to take up technical positions in their workplace and to participate in solving technical problems through coding and getting their hands dirty. Whether it is in implementing a mobile application, developing an augmented reality game, writing code for robotics, or writing instruction sets for an Artificial Intelligence system.

Women are as good at technology as men. It is not the lack of interest that keeps women from pursuing tech-related occupations. It is an unsupportive culture and an undervaluing of their capabilities. So, a good starting point to get women into technology is creating a supportive culture in homes, schools, and the workplace. This is why I am happy at Green, they allow me to thrive and support development in technology.

Many women get overlooked in ICT, despite their great achievements. The government and companies can better support the advancement of women in technical roles by providing them with opportunities to build a wide array of skills along with structured guidance on their professional development.

Diversity is critical in tech, as it enables companies to create better and safer products that consider everyone, not just one section of society.

There is so much more to technology than being a receptionist at a tech company. Twenty percent of women over the age of thirty-five in tech companies are still in junior positions. Why is this so? Women and young girls in this sector of employment should participate and be granted the same opportunity to engage themselves in tech short courses as well as training programs offered by their respective companies.

“By teaching our girls to code, we’re not just preparing them to enter the workforce, we’re preparing them to lead it.” Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code.


 

About The Author

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A Guest Contributor is any of a number of experts who contribute articles and columns under their own respective names. They are regarded as authorities in their disciplines, and their work is usually published with limited editing only. They may also contribute to other publications. - Ed.