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John Bair
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Gender Diversity is Lacking in Tech Jobs

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“The world may have changed a great deal for women in America over the last 100 years, but there’s still work to be done.” – Women En Mass

On Wednesday, the world celebrated International Women’s Day. People from all over the globe voiced messages of empowerment, calls to action for equal pay, and support for the extinguishment of gender discrimination.

While this week certainly amplified the voices pushing for gender equality, every day is an opportunity for positive change. From adopting simple actions like putting “Shine Theory” into practice, to using our individual leadership and power to close the pay gap, progress is happening.

But there is so much more to do. Narrowing the focus for a moment to American jobs, many fields continue to lack an acceptable gender balance among leadership and employees. A recent article in Entrepreneur shows how one major field suffers from a serious gender imbalance.

Of all the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers, technology is the only one in which the participation of women has decreased in the last two decades.

That’s a bleak outlook for tech. Citing former Verizon CIO Judith Spitz, the article indicates that beyond the obvious benefit to professional women, gender diversity in technology leadership magnifies opportunities on a large scale — for the companies involved as well as the tech industry and the economy.

 

gender diversity

An initiative called Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York offers some statistics about the technology industry and the state of gender diversity in tech.

 

Entrepreneur picks out the four major areas Spitz says are impacted by gender diversity.

Revenue & Profitability: Numerous recent studies link gender diverse companies with return on investment (ROI) – the more diverse the company, the better the ROI generally.

Meeting Workforce Needs: Employment in the tech industry “… surged to more than 6.7 million people in 2015” and that population is growing. As the number of new hires in demand climbs, women will be needed to meet the technology workforce needs.

Economic Fairness: Increasing the number of women in technology leadership roles could help level the economic playing field, which would be a big win. Unfortunately, tech is one of many industries in which females typically hold lower-paying positions.

The Human Race: As we approach a time during which “… our biology will be equal parts technology and physiology,” Spitz said at the Propeller Innovation Festival. “Think about the implications for the human race, if technology is destined to be the essence of who we are as a species, if it’s developed largely under the leadership and guidance of a single gender.”

Spitz’s points are undeniably strong, and they speak to an issue seen in not only the tech industry, but in law, science and many other fields. It is our sincere hope at Milestone that by echoing these important messages, we can do our part to motivate our country to accelerate the closing of the gender gap and provide equal opportunities for all.

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