Male and female, what is the big deal? At the end of the day we all need the same things to survive, oxygen and water. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online: a male is an individual that produces small usually motile gametes which fertilize the eggs of a female, and a female is relating to or being the sex that bears the young or produces eggs. Notice no were in either one of those definitions does it say that women are less intelligent or inferior to men in any way; so why the discrepancies and sexism when it comes to distinguishing what one can and can’t do in terms of profession?
Over decades it seems as if men have been given more opportunity to excel in the tech industry as compared to girls. So now as times move on and times change so do the social environments, women are overcoming these stereotypes that only men can lead in the tech industry. But, there are still many females out there who do not know how to overcome the back lash and negativity that society bestows upon them for entering a male dominated profession. During my research I came across and article on the Australian Institute of Criminology website about Women in a Male Dominated Industry, stating women are often perceived as invaders or visitors in male dominated professions. I strongly agree with this statement, because only 45% of our women in the tech industry hold leadership positions in the tech industry.
The Forbes magazine did an interesting article on Women in the Technology Industry and Leadership positions by Naomi Shavin, and to their surprise like many other such as I myself, the results were pretty astounding. With the 21st century, and women excelling not only in the educational fields but in all aspects of the science and technology industries, the US holds a national average of 45% females hold some sort of leadership position in the technology world, while Europe averages a 50% and Asia averaging a 56%. As Naomi Shavin goes on in the article she finds in her research, that the Silicon Valley Bank while conducting a study on what woman had to overcome to take the position they do, the woman who wrote the article Devin stated that on a recent dinner with colleagues and clients she noticed “’ “It was 24 men,” said Devin, “and me.” ’”. In today’s world when it comes to woman leading you often she they are surrounded by a group of men, they tend to be told what to say and what to do or how to act. They normally all have “male assistant” that refers them from time to time of, say this or do this. While being one of the largest countries not just military wise but economy wise, why are we so behind when it comes to equal rights for both women and men? Although there are many programs out there these days encouraging girls to enter the tech field, we need to ask ourselves is that enough? Many of the problems that start happen after woman have received their degrees and jobs, woman are “ viewed as visitors who will either leave because they are given no opportunity to move up in position or because they are paid less for being an equally efficient engineer or technician that a male is and in many cases a better one. Many programs these days are trying to resolve issues of gender inequality and discrimination in workplaces by encouraging women to pursue STEM professions, like the POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights) helps fight for woman equality in STEM professions and also the Everyday Sexism which promotes women to post stories and experiences they have held in tech fields to encourage young females.
Stepping aside from community and national level resolutions, we can start in our own backyard. I work at Lowe’s Home Improvement, everyone living in the bay area is familiar with the type of retail store this is, heck it tells you in the name; Home Improvement. I have been working here for about nearly a year and half, and within that year I have seen many employees come and go. Our store consists of say about 200 plus if minus a few. And out of all these employees we have 3 women out on the sales floor working in the departments, 2 woman that are department managers one for plumbing, one for customer service, and lastly we have about 13 women who are all cashiers and 7 of us are customer service reps. Now if you total these numbers up we have about say 30 plus or minus a few women working in a home improvement store, however only 2 of those women hold a leadership position. Interesting, how out of about 1/8 of their employees being women only two hold a leadership position.
Although everyone says we have changed and become more accepting of women in tech professions, women themselves and the stats say otherwise. My point isn’t to point fingers and scare people away, just to point out that there is an aggressive issue beyond us and that we need to do something about it soon before a becomes a male-monopoly and it’s too late.