Technology has always been a driver of progress, but rarely have we seen anything like the current era’s breakneck disruption, with whole sectors eliminated, lifestyles upended, and the very psychology of humans at times seeming to be scrambled. So how smart is it that this revolution has overwhelmingly been carried out by only men?
The numbers are shocking. According to Statista, women account for under a fifth of U.S. software developers, computer programmers, systems administrators, and support specialists, and just over a mere eighth of hardware engineers. In some categories, the figure has actually gone down in the past two decades.
This begins at the education level, with women earning only 18% of bachelor’s degrees in computer science. And studies show it is compounded by gender bias they face in candidacies. In one fascinating experiment, a tech industry recruiter presented employers with a balanced list of 5,000 candidates; when gender was revealed only 5% of those selected for interviews were women, compared to 54% when gender was hidden.
So most entry-level jobs go to men, on top of which the dropout rate of women is higher due to the industry’s lack of emphasis on wellness initiatives for women – a vicious cycle.
The dire results are most pronounced at the highest echelons, where women are rare. Since we tend to network more easily with those we perceive to be similar, the predominantly male presence in higher-level jobs may diminish women’s chances to gain the network connections that generate promotions – another vicious cycle.
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