Why are so many women unable to enter a technical or managerial position? One answer may be the stereotypical “tech bro” attitude that dominates our culture. Women still remain highly underrepresented in computer science-related occupations (25% of the total labor force) and software engineering (14%.5% of the total labor force).
Another answer could simply be diversity. While there is certainly a gender gap in every profession, the overall employment rate for women in tech statistics is still much lower than it should be. Part of the explanation could simply be that stereotypes about engineers and programmers are not widely known and are preventing women from achieving professional success with this specialization. In addition, many women working in IT have traditionally worked in fields with higher compensation, such as marketing or human resources, which can make technical aspects of the jobs less important than they would be if a job were offered requiring a higher level of technical expertise. For example, a job at a top Internet company could actually be more rewarding because of its stronger ties to programming than a marketing or human resources job.
Tech companies must do whatever they can to encourage diversity and provide an environment in which women can succeed. To start, upper management should encourage senior level managers to bring in women into the company’s senior management roles, as well as hiring more women through promotions and pay increases to help close the gap. Special programs that focus on diversity and leadership should also be implemented. Doing this won’t just improve women’s salaries – it will also provide a pipeline of highly qualified, competent women that can help grow the business into success.