Increasing representation of women in technology: how can we do it?
Where do we come from?
In 2021, we commemorate the 46th anniversary of Women’s day, on March 8th. These last couple of years, the visibility towards gender disparity has grown. Although we get daily reminders from our colleagues, family, partners, friends, and the media, the inequity is still very real. We can all agree that talking about it is crucial to introduce it into our world’s agenda, but it is not enough to just talk, we need to take action and be part of the change we want to see in society.
Where are we now?
Most industries have different examples of how the gender gap reflects on their daily activities, but when it comes to the IT industry, the problem runs deeper. The fact that women grow up believing they are not capable of working as engineers, software developers, technicians, or any of the more technical roles associated with the industry, is due to the understanding that we have as to what roles, jobs, or activities should be for whom.
Moreover, even when some smart, capable women adventure themselves entering this industry, they often face walls of disparity. Maybe in the form of a recurrent male figure as a boss, or rather in condescending attitudes, or even with more subtle approaches such as silencing women in meetings of not providing everyone with the same space to talk.
Women often have to “prove” they deserve a certain job, for the preconceived notions say they are not capable, so they have to do more, be more, to prove themselves. What does gender have to do with intellectual capacity? Not a thing. Why do women have to put up with workplace harassment, above all the different types of abuse they already go through on a daily basis.
What are we doing?
In Moove It, we know and acknowledge this as a reality, that’s why we founded the Gender & Equality Commission, and we work daily to nourish an environment where gender is not a reason to diminish nor praise someone, but actually welcome every single difference and particularity an individual has. Moreover, we work to debug the gender gap and make Moove It an equal, safe place to work.
The Gender Gap in the IT industry represents a worrying situation. Of course, we should be glad that more women join this field, but that can’t prevent us from seeing that world statistics still show an 80 – 20 % advantage men have over women by occupying IT roles.
We are aware of this, and we keep trying to come up with new ways girls can be encouraged to study IT-related careers.
So it is not a matter of whether we should or not up that percentage. It is a matter of how.
Working together is how. Working to teach our children, our nephews, our cousins, our acquaintances. Teaching them that any child can choose what career they want and that they shouldn’t be biased to follow one path or the other because of specific attributes associated with gender. Letting them know they are capable, qualified, and skillful.
Working to make sure women feel comfortable and represented. Everyone should be able to develop in a fair and just environment.
We wanted our women in Moove It to speak their minds, so we asked them this question:
¿Could you name at least one aspect in the IT industry as a whole, that needs to change NOW in order to debug the gender gap?
Some of the answers were:
- “The idea that women are not capable enough to work in this industry must disappear. It has caused female employees to work even harder to try to demonstrate their worth. It is an unnecessary barrier” Jeasmine Ñahui, Mobile developer at Moove It.
- “In order to bridge the gap, it is necessary to inform girls and teens of the benefits of the industry, share experiences, and break the myth that it is a men’s career. Talks can be organized in schools to achieve this and get their attention when they are deciding which career to choose”. Says Victoria Bernini, Operations Analyst at Moove It.
- “We (women) need to stop being a minority in the IT sectors. This can only be achieved by dropping off masculinized stereotypes on the IT industry that’s teaching girls that they (we) “don’t have what it takes” for it. Girls need to be encouraged to try out STEAM stuff (read, watch, play, etc) and see that other women are succeeding in the area.
In the workplace, “micromachism” (and other not so micro) needs to be identified and stopped. There are lots of daily situations that we need to put up with and most men don’t even realize (or worst: care).
Finally, we should not be worried about how maternity is going to affect my work position and professional development. Maternity and Paternity leave needs to be redefined to give the same possibilities to both parents and companies should protect mothers jobs and support their professional development as well.” Maite Mañana, Senior Developer & Project Manager at Moove It.
- Maria Noel Burghi, CFO, has been working for over 13 years in Moove It, and she thinks that “Many things should change so that everyone can access great personal and professional opportunities. We should work towards eliminating gender stereotypes. As adults, we need to be aware of what we communicate with our actions and words. It is highly important to achieve equality in the workplace. Choosing to be mothers or not should have nothing to do with growing in our careers or getting where we want to be. Every aspect of our lives should be measured equally so that there is a system that allows women to develop and grow outside their families. It is crucial as a way to eliminate gender violence. Having equal rights is the first step towards a more fair society. We have a long way to go”.
Gender equality it’s a must, and we have to do anything in our power to guarantee it not only to fellow women but most importantly, to every girl who is wondering what would happen when she grows up.
We hope more women feel comfortable enough to join us in this industry. We are working towards a healthier society, and the first step is taking daily action. Join us at Moove It and rest assured we will keep trying to make the world a more fair and just place.