Women Powering Business is pleased to introduce “Women Powering Technology,” a six-part series that takes a closer look at the lack of female representation in the IT industry. Topics in the series will include: What impact does the gender gap have on the IT industry overall? What’s the origin of the gender gap? How can tech companies attract and retain female talent? What are some barriers that women in tech face?
The Women Powering Technology series will feature female executives who will offer their insight and advice on this trend.
Our first installment features Alisia Genzler, Vice President of Randstad Technologies.
AG: I believe being homogenized could hinder our ability to be innovative. So, by increasing the number of women in jobs within the STEM fields it will help promote innovation at a time where we must be nimble.
KF: The tech industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the US, but the industry is struggling to attract female talent and leadership. According to a recent article in The Atlantic, while 57 percent of occupations in the workforce are held by women, in computing occupations that figure drops to 25 percent. Of chief information officer jobs (CIOs) at Fortune 250 companies, 20 percent were held by a woman in 2012. What can tech companies do to focus their efforts to attract and retain women in tech?
AG: We have to get interest up. This can be done in several ways. Promoting the financial benefits is one, but providing role models and showcasing other women and their stories is key. Women need to see more role models in this field. They need to understand how women in the field have gotten to where they are and how they accomplished it. Equally important is to have these women share the benefits of doing so.
KF: With the tech industry being such an economic engine that is rapidly shaping our society, a lack of diversity and female representation has a big impact on our society overall, including “fewer ideas, perspectives and pushback,” according to a recent NPR story. What are some other societal consequences of having a lack of women in tech?
AG: It could impact our competitiveness, our creativity, our innovation and overall, slow down our productivity. When you cut the population in half and encourage one half to get involved in STEM, you miss out on the whole other half of intelligence and possibilities.