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Jane Park once said,

”When in business, women in employment face a very different set of challenges than their male counterparts.”

If we look through history we will observe that names such as Grace Hopper, Sara Fulton, Sybil Cudington, and many more, that were once used to reform the world in various domains are now either forgotten or long lost in this male-dominated world.

Any society that fails to harness the energy and creativity of its women is at a huge disadvantage and I personally believe now is the right time to mend those mistakes. Over the years many surveys have been conducted to highlight the challenges women face in the tech industry. The outcome pointed out  many factors.                  

  • Challenges faced at the education level
  • Challenges in getting back to work after   marriage or maternity leave
  • Unequal opportunities and pay disparity
  • Long working hours

If we look deeper into this matter, we will observe that in this gender-biased world, the tech industry has become synonymous with the male industry which leads to the scenario where Women try to be less engaged in the tech field be it because of the unequal opportunities, pay disparity or any other reason.

In this post, my main focus will be on the challenge faced in the education level.

The major reason for the scarcity of women in tech world is because of the inadequate education provided to them. Since the beginning of the era,  women have had active participation in literature, the teaching field, and nursing, this is because of the fact that when it comes to pursuing undergraduate degrees, parents prefer their girl child to go into the fields which they think are stable enough like the job of a teacher or maybe even a doctor.

The other reason is due to lack of tech exposure since childhood itself, young girls are not encouraged enough to enter the tech field even while using simple devices such as phones, laptops, or smart boards in the classroom, girls always find themselves dependent on the boys to explain to them how that particular device or function works. It would be hard to believe but some of the female teachers in my school used to ask the boys of the class to teach her the functions of smart board and mind you, the boys were of 6th standard. The question arises why? Why does a 25 plus years old teacher has to be dependant on a hardly 13 years old boy to teach her  technology. The answer is lack of exposure. The greatest drawback is that teacher when asks a boy to guide her or ask the boys of her class to use the smartboard she is making sure that the girls of the class are not given equal exposure in the tech world. Trust me, I was once at the same place, I used to be the class monitor But whenever a teacher used to face a problem while switching on the smart board I used to cross my fingers wishing that she does not call upon me to ask her or guide her how the device works because I had zero knowledge about it. It was not like I could not learn how to operate it but there was a fear instilled in our minds that it’s a very complicated task and not mend for the girls. But now the times have changed Lynn Root, back-end engineer for Spotify once said in an interview,

”You don’t need a degree in computer science to work in tech, you need gumption and focus. It’s okay not to know something as long as you show that you are intelligent enough to learn it.”

The other trivial but nonetheless important challenges women face are:

Getting back to work after maternity leave or marriage while it’s easier for men to get their jobs back it becomes very difficult for women to manage both the house maybe the child and their job simultaneously. at that time what she requires the most is support from the society and from the organisation but what she faces is criticism.

Also the unusual and long working hours in the tech field are rather considered unsafe for women specially for those who travel alone at night. Parents often get tensed because their girls are unsafe while returning from their office around 9:00 to 10:00 PM. At this point the organisation needs to make sure that the employees specially the female staff reaches their home safe and sound. 

Like in all other fields pay disparity is another major factor involved in the less participation of women in the tech field. While men are given credit  and appreciated for their efforts women on the other hand are not getting the deserved appreciation.

Now when it comes to the solution of  these challenges , I would say, children particularly young girls should be encouraged to participate in tech-related activities such as quiz, hackathons etc. This would not only help them harness their interest to pursue a career in the tech field but will also boost their confidence.

The society needs to learn that when we invest in women, we invest in a powerful source of global development.

And for all the women out there, Ginny Rometty CEO of IBM has put it up correctly,

”You have to stick up for what you believe in. And that, to me, is the biggest thing you can do about driving inclusion.”

To all my fellow women who are interested to pursue a career in tech field , Come out and raise your voice because when women work together, it’s a bond unlike any other.

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