An Impossible Math Equation – Missing Women in IT

Ready for the math problem? It isn’t quite like “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” because for right now, there doesn’t seem to be an answer.  Here is the math story problem:

If almost half of the work force in the United States is women why is there less than 17% of the technology workforce populated by women? 

From an already low base, female representation within both the IT professions and the IT sector have declined slightly over the past 10 years*

It is a conundrum.  Recently this issue has been in the news and online – there aren’t enough women in tech (or STEM careers in general). Women are under represented in tech fields and yet it the significance of this problem is more critical than just filling a diversity quota.

It is proven that businesses with women in leadership roles are more successful. So not only are tech fields under represented but they also face future profitability challenges if their key decision makers ares still men.

Eileen O’Mara, Area VP of commercial sales for Salesforce.com talks about the issue in a recent article entitled The women in IT issue is not going away, says Salesforce, by Ben Rossi

I believe a gender imbalance means the industry is missing opportunities for even greater growth, innovation and success’

The technology industry is notorious for its poor record of gender diversity. According to recent study from e-skills UK, less than 17% of the industry is made up of women and the gender gap is worsening.

It’s easy to forget about or ignore these issues when the UK technology industry appears to be booming. However, I believe a gender imbalance means the industry is missing opportunities for even greater growth, innovation and success.

Her last statement is pretty powerful – missed opportunities for growth – innovation and success

So the question is – what can businesses do to modify their IT workforce?

They must first be aware of the situation. There may be certain publications shining a light on this inequity but if the companies that offer positions in technology are unaware or not caring about the lack of women in their departments; it will be difficult to move the needle.

Let’s start by spreading the word!

 

* from the Women in IT Scorecard.