If you have a daughter who has shown an interest in technology and STEM-related topics, it’s important to keep them engaged. But, what kind of a world is waiting for her in the tech industry? Well, if you look at some numbers and trends, there is still not an equal gender balance in tech and it could have something to do with the way the industry is being promoted.
Consider these statistics:
In Canada, women make up less than a quarter of all science and technology workers.
Once women enter the tech field, they are 45% more likely to leave compared to their male counterparts. This is attributed to feeling isolated, a lack of female role models and male-dominated work environments.
How Can Tech Companies Attract More Women?
Statistics like those show the importance of attracting more women to the tech industry and getting them to stay there. There has been some attention focused on how companies advertise for tech jobs and how these ads are not really attracting women.
For example, GoDaddy’s CEO Blake Irving is shining the light on certain words used in job ads that may not be appealing to women. Terms like “code ninja” or “rock star (fill in the blank)” may not make a woman want to apply for a tech job as much as a man. That’s why he’s having all of his company’s documents reviewed for any language that could be considered gender-biased and alienate any employees.
While that company is reviewing its documents, other companies could benefit from doing the same, especially if they’re looking to fill jobs. One study found that companies that use gender-neutral job postings fill their vacant positions two weeks faster than the average of 60 days.
Changing the way job ads are posted may be one way to attract more females to the tech industry. Also being mindful of the names of companies can also attract more females. Using such terms as “alpha” often makes people think about a dominant male, not female. This, in turn, may turn females off from even looking into the program or company.
Another way to get more women interested and involved so that they will apply for those jobs is to introduce them to STEM-related topics at an early age.
It’s not only important to get girls interested in STEM at an early age, but it’s just as important to also keep their interested. One study found that girls have an interest in STEM topics at age 11, but by age 15 they lose that interest. The reason? No one is really sure, but the goal is to reverse that trend.
MakerKids believes in doing just that. Programs in coding, robotics, and Minecraft are offered to all kids in grades 1-8 so that they can see what’s out there and find their niche. MakerKids is careful not to use any gender-biased language that could turn girls off to STEM for any reason. Our own CEO is a female and we have many female instructors. This is a great way for girls to see the future they can have in STEM. For more information on these programs call MakerKids at 1-844-MAKERKIDS or browse our programs online.