Women now comprise 57% of the professional workforce.
We’re a majority.
Well, not everywhere.
Women in technology represent a small minority.
In fact, the number of women working in computer and math fields has actually decreased from a mere 28.8% to an even smaller 26.1% between 2003 and 2012—in spite of the growth that has produced 850,000 new computer and math jobs in this same period.
Among Fortune 250 companies, only 20% of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) jobs were held by women in 2012, and only 9% of IT management positions.
It’s not job discrimination though. Women just aren’t pursuing technical degrees and careers to the extent that men are.
Technology is growing, but women’s interest appears to be waning.
Between 2000 and 2011, those women interested in pursuing a computer science degree dropped 79%!
Information technology will drive our future. It will drive every area of our culture. You don’t have to be a computer programmer to become part of this dynamic growth industry. Explore sales or marketing (my particular passion) and use your creativity to be an integral part of promoting technology advances to markets that excite you—healthcare, education, retail, hospitality, law enforcement, to name a few. Get involved in the operational side where your management skills can fine-tune processes by leveraging the power of technology. Blend your interest in behavioral science with the data science that provides invaluable insight.
There are no age limits to being tech savvy. My aunt was the valedictorian of her class, and a scientist. She was a trailblazer in her generation, using her computer and technology interest as a lifelong learner for her entire 99 years! She was my inspiration to go against the norm, to pursue a passion in spite of obstacles and naysayers.
Women need to be more involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), because we bring a different perspective and fresh thinking to the industry.
We’re not mired in the way that our male predecessors have done things, because we have the confidence to try a different avenue.
We also possess tremendous leadership skills that are under-utilized. Our strengths in problem-solving, conflict resolution, team building, and mentoring are essential to the positive growth of the technology industry.
Look at the power of women as consumers. According to a Deloitte study, women influence 85% of buying decisions, which equates to $4.3 trillion of the total $5.9 trillion in annual U.S. spending.
Technology spending comprises a large portion of that consumerism. We use the Internet 17% more than men. We spend more time using our smartphones and location-based services. We’re the fastest growing segment of Skype users.
Apparently, we’re buying technology, but not directing its forward movement.
I challenge more women to reconsider opportunities in the technology field.
The growth potential is unlimited, and we need your voice!