With all the leaps forward women have made in the past two generations, it’s amazing that gender equality continues to exist, and yet it does. One of the fields where gender inequality is the most apparent is the tech industry. Although there are some women who have made it to the highest jobs in the tech field, such as Ruth Porat, who works as the Chief Financial Officer for Google, there are many women who are constantly over looked while opportunities for advancement go to male co-workers.
The actual data regarding gender equality in the tech field is downright depressing. When the American Association of University Women conducted a study, they discovered that not only were women often being overlooked, but that the number of women in the field has actually declined in the past 23 years, despite the fact that the tech industry has more job opportunities than ever before. In 2013, when the study was conducted, women made up only 26% of the industry professionals, 9% less than in 1990 when women held 35% of the available jobs. In addition to less women being employed in the tech industry, there are also fewer women actively seeking degrees in computing and other tech related fields.
Many feel that the reason so many women are turning away from the idea of a career in the tech field has to do with the horror stories about how misogynistic the industry is. For every success story, like Ruth Porat, there are ten of women being passed over for promotion, being ridiculed by co-workers, and worse. Whitney Wolfe is a perfect example of a bright, young woman who works hard. When the mobile dating app she developed, the marketing team connected to the app made the decision to minimize her involvement with the app.
It’s not fair, but women who decide to pursue a career in the tech industry will have to work twice as hard to achieve the recognition and pay they deserve, while at the same time encouraging other bright young women to follow in their footsteps.