Why women are outnumbered in tech companies and why this should stop
More support is required to bring more women into the tech sector
Tech-savvy women in Asian countries struggle under cultural traditions and norms
Women are more likely to leave industry within a year compared to men
Recently Amazon abandoned their AI recruiting tool which favored men for technical jobs, a system that penalized resumes that included the word “women’s” and demote two all-women universities graduates. Although this is just an experiment flaw under the ability to perform machine learning, it suggests employers should look into the topic between diversity and equality within Technology, an industry that is rapidly seeking for changes to impact businesses.
Earlier this year, Stanford research talks about why women are significantly outnumbered by men in tech. It highlighted “women with STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) degrees are dramatically less likely to wind up in tech jobs than their male counterparts.” And having the ability to set gender targeted job ads in Facebook certainly did not help the case here as well. According to The Guardian, over 70% of technical workers believe that this industry is sexist. This results in the current pool of underpaid and underappreciated female employees in the tech business.
Women are more likely to leave the industry within a year compared to their male counterparts.
As illustrated in the Statista Chart below, there is a major imbalance between male and female employees. Less than 20% of technical jobs are occupied by women in large tech companies like Microsoft and Facebook.
When compare to the western world, female tech workers may experience a higher difficulty when trying to land a job in the tech sector. At times, cultural traditions and norms remains to be a barrier for women to build confidence and develop a strong technical sense to work in tech related industries. Advocacy of gender balance in the workplace remains insufficient and undermined in Asia, when compared with western Tech companies like Microsoft and Google.
Advantage of having women in tech?
Global Leadership Forecast study shows that companies with 30% gender diversity perform better than those without. Moreover, history has proven that diverse teams perform better, with individuals from different genders, races, backgrounds and experiences, it can bring a completely new angle and perspectives. Overall a company can enhance the overall business via creativity and better decision making abilities.
Effective employee retention strategies can be achieved by maintaining the equal level of gender ratio. A recent 2018 gender diversity report conducted by Hays discovered that company culture is one of the top reasons why women are leaving their company. Company culture includes better workplace and employee engagement by taking care their needs and preferences.
Community and Next Steps
It is important for companies to seek for a gender equality within the workplace and show respect for gender difference. American International Group(AIG) on Nov 8, 2018 hosted the Celebrating Women in the Workplace event in Hong Kong by bringing in different corporations together to acknowledge and celebrate individual difference through respect and diversity.
During the event, Violet Chung from McKinsey & Company presented actions plan across the five regional priority areas which includes:
Higher female labour-force participation
More women in business leadership
Improved access to digital technology and finance
Changed mindsets about roles in society and work
Collaboration and regional solutions
While it is always companies best interest to hire the best person into the job, company should always be aware and address issues regarding to gender diversity going forward.