Is Tech a Good Field for Women?

In honor of Women’s History Month, our expert reflects on her years of experience as a software developer and provides her answer to the question.

Written by Mirela Lazar
Published on Mar. 12, 2024
Is Tech a Good Field for Women?
Image: Shutterstock / Built In
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When it comes to women in the profession, the last decade in the tech field has had a pretty astounding transformation. Over the past 10 years, different initiatives have emerged on a global scale, empowering girls and young women to pursue STEM education. Thanks to all this, more women are navigating the challenges of the tech industry with confidence and resilience, becoming massive players of growth at big enterprises.

5 Benefits of a Career in Tech

  1. You develop superb analytical thinking skills.
  2. You gain satisfaction from achieving great results.
  3. You’re part of a sector that is transforming the world.
  4. You get to indulge your natural curiosity.
  5. You develop a fun sense of competition.

I started my tech career in 2012. Back then, only 18 percent of computer science degrees were awarded to women. Now, women hold 28 percent of all jobs in computer and mathematical occupations and 15.9 percent in engineering and architecture occupations.

In honor of Women’s History Month, I have made a few observations about the 10-plus years I have spent in the tech profession. I’m happy to share that tech is and always will be a great field for women. I also want to share what I have learned with the new generation of tech enthusiasts and women professionals.

women's history month readingWe Need to Keep Women in Tech. Here’s How.

 

Challenges Are a Good Thing

Getting my diploma as a developer was great. The educational experience helped me gain more insights into what a developer’s life could look like. After graduating, I knew only two languages: Objective C and Android. 

I remember being given my first project at my first job — it was my first responsibility as a developer. I embraced the challenge and started working on the project. But when I was working with my first team, several doubts popped up. One was: Can I do this? The other was: Why should my teammates listen to me?  I knew the way to get rid of these doubts was to learn more. So I started learning more. 

As I gained more work experience, I faced more challenges. More than once, I found that women were underestimated when they were involved in a tech project or as STEM professionals. Sometimes, even a woman colleague would ask for advice from a male mentor or colleague when dealing with an obstacle, rather than ask another woman colleague. That struck me as odd. Why should we trust a colleague’s answer based on gender and not skills?

Looking back, I also felt that I was being underestimated and that the level of excitement about a project was lower when the client realized that a woman was behind the keyboard. At that moment, the feelings that passed through my heart were strong. But then I remembered what I wanted to be and what I could do. So, to overcome the feeling, I told myself that most people don’t underestimate women intentionally, then embraced the challenge and put my tech expertise to use. Also, support from my team was so important during these moments. 

Embracing the challenge and creating a collaborative work environment close to you are keys to success.

 

My Profession Doesn’t Define Me

I’m proud to say that I’m a woman, a colleague and a tech professional. My career doesn’t define me as a person or as a gender. At work, I’m focusing on solving the technical issues where my input is needed. I’m a project owner, a tech lead, a consultant, a developer and an engineer. 

I’m also a woman. I value my privacy and my moral and ethical standards. From a project perspective, I’m a professional; from a team perspective, I’m a woman colleague who always appreciates when someone holds the doors for me or helps me carry something heavy. That said, I don’t use my gender as an excuse to shy away from some duties. If we are rearranging an office and a desk needs moving, I don’t sit on the sidelines. 

 

Yes, Tech Is A Good Field For Women

While tech is still a male-dominated area, the number of women in tech has increased, to 26.7 percent in 2023 from 8 percent in 1970. If we compare it with the labor force increase of approximately  250 percent during that period, this 18.7 percent  is quite impressive. 

The role of women in tech will only grow in importance. Our contributions are crucial for driving the innovation that shapes our world.

If we compare it with other measures, such as the world population, tech still has a major gender gap. We still have more globally present challenges, for instance women in senior management roles, workplace culture, recruiting, retention and fair pay, that we need to tackle when discussing the women workforce.  

Despite these challenges, which the tech industry is working to overcome, several factors that make the tech field a good choice. It’s a domain where the mind rules, as it has little to no physical requirements. It’s a career in which you can feel (mostly) financially secure. Finally, it’s something familiar because we all use tech in day-to-day activities. 

Read more about women in techLet’s Stop Stereotyping Women Bosses


The Future for Women in Tech

As the tech realm continues to expand and push barriers, the evolution of women in tech will see its next steps. I believe that tech will do its best to bridge and close the gender gap in the workplace. 

The gender gap topic is handled on a global scale through different DE&I projects and activities. As we discover and learn, we will keep our spirit and enthusiasm to find the perfect balance. We continue this change by stepping forward in acknowledging what needs improvement and celebrating what’s been achieved so far.

It is clear that the role of women in tech will only grow in importance. Our contributions are necessary for achieving gender equality and crucial for driving the innovation that shapes our world.

The last decade has set the stage for what promises to be an even more transformative era for women in tech, filled with opportunities, challenges and achievements yet to come.

Let’s be part of this trend!

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