There have been a lot of struggles to attract more women into science, technology, engineering, and math careers. While many collective efforts have helped to increase the percentage of women, particularly in leadership roles. A recent study concluded that the gender gap for women in technology as a whole is worse today than it was in 1984.
Some studies showed that 50% of women abandon technology careers by the age of 35 and that women are leaving tech roles at a 45% higher rate than men. Only 21% of women in the study said they believed the technology industry was a place they could thrive. Sadly, that number falls precipitously to 8% for women of colour.
This pandemic, where working women are shouldering more of the burden of juggling their career, remote learning, taking care of the children and elderly parents, is only exacerbating the situation.
In August and September of 2020, around 865,000 women left the workforce, compared with 216,000 men(approximately). According to recent reports, one-third of mothers’ face opting out of or scaling back their careers. This may include reducing work hours, shifting to part-time work or a less demanding role, taking a leave of absence, or leaving the workforce entirely. Experts point to the loss of support systems such as child care and in-person education as two main reasons for the mass exodus.
What does this tell us about the technology industry’s efforts to be more inclusive and diverse?
We have a lot more work to do to not only attract, but keep hold of talented female professionals. And we have much more to do if we are to narrow the gender gap and make the industry more diverse, inclusive, and resilient across the board.