While women in technology have made great strides, they still face many barriers, which is the focus of a comprehensive infographic from IT Manager Daily. Percentage of women earning IT-related degrees has declined Over the past 25 years, the proportion of females earning tech degrees has steadily dropped from 37 percent in 1985 to 18 percent in 2009.
A recent New York Times article titled “I Am Woman, Watch Me Hack” addresses possible reasons why fewer women are interested in tech degrees:
One of the biggest challenges, according to many in the industry, may be a public-image problem. Most young people … simply don’t come into contact with computer scientists and engineers in their daily lives, and they don’t really understand what they do. And to the extent that Americans do, “they think of Dilbert,” explains Jeffrey Wilcox, vice president of engineering at Lockheed Martin. (“Dilbert” being shorthand, of course, for boring, antisocial, cubicle-contained drudgery, conducted mostly by awkward men in short-sleeve dress shirts — a bit like “Office Space,” only worse.)
Skills to succeed in the tech world IT Manager Daily suggests that women need the following skills to succeed in the IT industry:
- Communication skills: 49 percent
- Problem solving: 27 percent
- Teamwork: 25 percent
- Integrity: 24 percent
- Confidence: 21 percent
Why do we need more women in tech? The benefits of having women in technology includes added creativity and greater intelligence for IT workforces and a boost in ROI for companies. According to the Randstad Engagement Study, IT workers are more optimistic about the future of women in leadership positions, compared with overall employees:
- My company/ organization provides an encouraging environment for women to develop leadership skills/ to pursue positions of leadership: All Employees: 77 percent | IT Employees: 89 percent
- Women and men are rewarded and recognized to an equal extent at my company/ organization: All Employees: 75 percent | IT Employees: 88 percent
- By 2020, I expect there to be many more women in leadership positions in my company/ organization: All Employees: 65 percent | IT Employees: 79 percent
Computer science is an incredibly promising major, especially for a young woman. That and engineering are among the college degrees that can offer the highest incomes and the most flexibility … Writing code and designing networks are also a lot more portable than nursing, teaching and other traditional pink-collar occupations … There are skills gaps throughout sectors of our economy, particularly in health care and advanced manufacturing. But nowhere, arguably, are workers leaving more money and benefits on the table than computer science.
Check out the full infographic below!