Paving the way for future female leaders
A hundred years ago, life looked very different for women all over the world. There were hardly any women in the work place, zero female politicians, and the only people who were allowed to vote were defined as ‘male persons.’ But by 1929, women were finally given equal voting rights to men. Since then, we have moved in leaps and bounds, breaking down the traditional and outdated perception of women in order to give the generations who follow us the chance to establish themselves as whatever they want to be.
In 1975, The Sex Discrimination Act made it illegal to discriminate against women in work, education and training. And by 1990, independent taxation for married women was finally introduced. This heralded in a new era of women – those who wanted to stand on their own two feet, forge their own career and turn the foundations that underpinned sexism on its head.
After centuries of repression and degradation, women took control of their lives, found their own power and fought their way to carve out a place in society. This was no easy feat, and many women lost their lives along the path to freedom. This is why every year we take a day to recognise women from all over the world, of all different backgrounds and cultures. We take a day to look back on just how far we have come, whilst simultaneously understanding there is so much still to be done.
And in our industry, this need is apparent. Like most industries, technology has always been male-dominated and sadly, this continues to be the case. According to a report by Catalyst, women make up 46.9% of the global work force. So, what does this figure look like for tech? Findings from Tech Nation revealed that only 19% of the tech work force are women, with 77% of director roles filled by men.
In further studies conducted by PwC, it was found 30% of women studied a STEM subject at university, and only 3% of women listed a career in tech as their first choice. Not only are we losing out on women in leadership roles, but we are struggling to even get them in the door on an educational level.
WomenTech Network estimates just how long it will take for us to close the economic gender gap in technology: over 73,000 days. That’s 200 years. As an industry, we need to put our collective heads together and figure out what more we can be doing to attract female talent into tech. Because what’s not to like about a career in technology?
Solidatus Full Stack Software Developer Nadia Mahgerefteh speaks to this, “One of the reasons I love working in software development is how satisfying it is to be working on a problem, and being able to instantly see the results of your work right in front of you on the computer. It’s a perfect combination of using technical coding skills alongside the creativity that comes with providing a solution that your users can actually enjoy.”
International Women’s Day helps elevate the voices of women everywhere, and allows us the opportunity to provide a platform for our female colleagues. And this year, that is exactly what we have decided to do. At Solidatus, gender equality is so much more than ticking a couple of boxes – it means something. Championing women in tech has always been a passion for both our co-founders, who have worked tirelessly in their careers and personal lives to help mentor, develop and promote women across all levels. This is a passion that has filtered down to all members of the Solidatus team, and it is our hope that this International Women’s Day we can use our voices to not only advocate for women currently in our industry, but to inspire a future generation of female tech leaders.