It’s the time for Women’s Day again, where once again we focus on the inequalities of the world and the workplace, where women have far fewer leadership positions, receive lower salaries even when doing similar work to their male counterparts, and have their work at home unrecognised and unrewarded.
This year the theme of the day is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. The truth is that in this IT world the disparity is even more glaring: 81% of tech-related roles at the world’s top ten technology corporations are male, and only 23% of tech jobs in South Africa are held by women. With men at the helm of all the big tech companies, and, according to many reports, a ‘bro’ culture pervading in many tech teams, it is inevitable that this lack of female representation affects the direction and priorities of the companies. These happen to be the highest paid jobs, leading the companies that will affect all of our futures, as technology continues to shape our world.
So isn’t it vital that women start owning this space too? How can we encourage more girls to study science and IT, what can we do to ensure that we have more women in leadership roles in tech companies? It starts at school, where girls need to know that they too can have careers in these worlds, and so take the subjects needed for future study. It carries on into the future with hiring practices, where steps need to be taken to actively change the tendency for men to hire men, and for the culture of these tech companies to be as comfortable for women to operate in freely, and to set the agendas as well.
Fundza is in some respects a tech company as well as a literacy organisation – you are, after all, reading our mobi site! Most of us are women, and that affects the choices we make about the content we focus on, the issues we tackle that affect all of the population, and the advice and support we provide to our readers and employees.
The world would most likely be in a better place if Facebook was more like Fundza. So let’s stand up for better career guidance, hiring practices and general systemic shifts in attitudes to ensure that women take their rightful positions to comprise around 50% of tech across the world. Our future depends on it.
Tell us: What are ways we can get more young women into the tech space?
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