Tag Archives: women in tech

A male entrepreneur asks: where are all the women in tech?

GirlsinCoding

It was with genuine interest that a male entrepreneur asked a panel of women in tech, “Where are the female talents in the IT industry?”

The question, asked by someone from the audience during the Girls in Coding event this Thursday, opened the debate about the lack of female applicants in tech jobs and about what companies can do to attract more women.

“I get the diversity speech, but how to get more female tech talent?”, asked the entrepreneur from the audience. “CVs from women are not getting through the door.”

In response Amali de Alwis, CEO from Code First: Girls, a social enterprise that teaches coding for free to young women, said that “a lot can be done by tech companies to get more female applicants. There is work to be done. How are you advertising your jobs? A conscious change is necessary,” she said.

Alexa Glick, global diversity program manager at Microsoft, added:

“How is your job described? Words are so important. Research shows that women look at every skill necessary before applying for a job, while men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications. If you say that the successful candidate will need to be ‘100% for the job’, this might scare women, because they might have a family and won’t be able to dedicate 100% of their time.”

The entrepreneur observed that it was fine to attract women to his company’s business area and that the challenge was to get female developers. “In my business area we have a good gender balance, but if you ask me how many women developers are in my company, I say zero.”

The CEO from Code First: Girls noted that the companies also have the responsibility of training people.

“The role of companies is not just to hire the best talents, but also make the right talent.”

The entrepreneur’s question about where are the women in tech is a crucial one. The number of women studying computer science in the UK is dropping: in 2011, only 17.6% of computer science undergraduates were women. The number is less than half of what it was in 1983/4 – when 37.1% of undergrads were women.

Consequently, less women are entering the tech workforce. An analysis by Project Ada has showed that less than one in five UK top tech bosses are women.

Campaign

Getting more women in the tech world is seen as crucial for the future of the industry, said Sinead Bunting, Marketing Director UK and Ireland from Monster, a recruiter company.

“Recently Martha Lane-Fox said if the internet is for everybody it should reflect that and be built by everyone. But at the moment 98% of the code relied upon by the internet and web technologies is programmed by men,” said Bunting. “We need different people to build apps that will reflect the diversity of the world.”

Earlier this month, Monster launched the Girls in Coding campaign to raise awareness to the issue.

Here is a video of the campaign featuring different initiatives in the UK to get more women into tech:

Interactive: Who’s most influential on #womenintech?

pa-networks-feat

It’s hardly news that the people supporting diversity in tech make up a vibrant and active community. Supporting and inspiring each other through events, in the workplace – and on Twitter, through hashtags like #womenintech.

We were curious to see who some of the network’s more influential tweeters were and built the network below, based on the latest 18,000 tweets on the hashtag.

Interactive: Explore everyone tweeting about #womenintech

Click the image or here to explore an interactive version of the map. (Maybe you can even find yourself!)

Every circle represents one Twitter account, and the darker purple it is, the more central that account is to the community. The bigger it is, the more mentions it’s received from other accounts.

So who are the top ten?

1. @thistechgirl

Also known as Saadia Muzaffar, the founder of Tech Girls Can and committed to “changing the ratio” in tech. On her website she writes:

“Diversity forces innovation to snap out of becoming a claustrophobic, self-affirming, classist idea machine.”

2. @fedscoop

This is part of a US government agency and breaks government tech news, so it’s not entirely surprising that it has a central position in this network.

3. @marthalanefox

Martha Lane Fox

Martha Lane Fox (Photo: Flickr/Open University)

Martha Lane Fox balances several roles, as a business woman, the youngest female member of the House of Lords, and not least in her current position heading the digital skills charity Go ON UK.

4. @dilbert_daily

Yes, this is Dilbert’s creator Scott Adams’ Twitter account.

5. @dreamhost

A corporate account for the cloud hosting platform DreamHost.

6. @codefilm

Code - debugging the gender gap

Photo: Code

Code is a documentary exposing just how few software engineers are female or from minority backgrounds, by “debugging” the gender gap.

7. @girldevorg

This San Fran-based organisation have a clear mission:

“Won’t stop til we #closethegendergap”.

8. @blackgirlscode

Black Girls Code works to empower young and teenage girls of colour to go into tech.

9. @womenwhocode

This organisation supporting and promoting diversity in the coding workforce boasts over 25,000 members in 15 countries across the world.

10. @aauw

The American Association of University Women have been promoting education and equality for girls for quite some time. Their tagline?

“Empowering women since 1881.”

Did you find anything interesting or unexpected in the graph? Comment below, or tweet us @ProjectAda_!

Top five women in tech videos

CodeCreativeCommons

Looking for some inspiration to get you teching this morning? Look no further, we’ve got you covered!

The world of women in technology

A rare and insightful look into the future of women in technology in India. Full of interesting and inspiring facts and figures, and some very powerful characters.

Women of the world panel

A panel discussion from a year ago where female CEOs from around the world discuss the challenges for women in the tech industry. Have things got any better since then?

Innovation 26×26

Admittedly, yes, this is a job advert. But it’s a great diving off point for learning about the many things you probably didn’t know women in tech have provided the world with.

Marissa Mayer on Women in Tech

An insightful and encouraging interview discussing the harmful stereotypes of women in the tech industry and what can be done to combat them.

How to Get More Women in Tech

And finally, the question on everyone’s lips, how to get more women into technology roles. Caroline Drucker talks about the dangers of talking yourself down by calling yourself a girl and taking charge of what you are.

The best London meetups for every woman in tech

Brynn Evans, design lead at Google, in an interview  with Women Techmakers

(Photo: Brynn Evans, design lead at Google, during an interview with Google Women Techmakers)

One of the best things about the Internet is how easy it makes for people to gather around a subject and work together. The Internet is great for sharing and for collaboration and meetups are even better for building a face-to-face community.

These meetings can be practical workshops, lightning talks or networking opportunities. For London-based readers, Project Ada has put together a list of five communities and four free meetups we know every tech girl would love to attend.

Here is our selection:

Women Who Code

This professional community gathers more than 20,000 women developers from 15 countries and its goal is to connect 1 million women in tech careers. Its meetup community in London has more than 900 coders and their events are aimed to put developers in touch with companies and to help non-developers who want to learn how to code. The events are exclusively for female participants.

Next event: “An Evening with Salesforce + Lightning Talks“, Wednesday, 25 February.

There will be speakers from the CRM software company Salesforce and lightning talks from guests speakers. Confirmed names include Nicola Aitken, an API integrations engineer at Geckoboard; and Claire Tran, a software engineer. Nicola will be talking about the things she wishes she had known before she started her first developer job. Claire will look into some techniques that can be applied to Ruby on Rails app.

Super Women at Twitter

The group, under the acronym SWAT, says its goal is to share content and resources to empower women to be leaders in the workforce around the world. You can stay updated with their work and events here.

Next event: “Super Women in Tech London“, Wednesday, 18th February.

A panel of tech leaders that will share their experiences and thoughts on issues faced by women in the industry. Some of the panelists are Alice Bentinck, co-founder of Entrepreneur First and Code First:Girls; and Wendy Orr, product manager at Guardian News & Media. The event is full, but there is a waiting list. Sign up here.

Girls in Tech London

The community aims to support and raise the visibility of women in technology, entrepreneurship and innovation. Their activities include monthly events and leadership programmes. They haven’t announced future events yet. To stay updated to their activities you can join their online community or their mailing list. Their latest event was about the intersection between dating and technology.

Google Women Techmakers

Women Techmakers is Google’s global program and brand for women in technology. It was kicked off in 2012 by Megan Smith, then VP of Google[x], a semi-secret facility inside the company. Now Women Techmakers is led by Natalie Villalobos and a global team of Googlers who are passionate about empowering women in technology through increased visibility, community, and resources. They host summits and meet ups around the world.

Next event: International Women’s Day Event in partnership with Google Women Techmakers”, Monday, 30 March.

To celebrate the International Women’s Day event, Google Women Techmakers partnered with Woman Who Code for a summit. The activities for this event haven’t been announced yet, but those interested in a place can apply now. Applications close on 20 February. 

W Kollective – Digitally Savvy Women

The community is dedicated to women in digital, technology and startups. The group, founded by Laurie Wang, has 332 members. Their goal is to inspire, educate, empower and create networking opportunities for women making their mark in the digital space. The community promotes talks, debates and parties.

Next event: Defining a Digital Content Strategy That Works“, Wednesday 11 March.

The event is designed for content and community managers who want to plan content in a more strategic way. The speaker is Nichola Stott, managing director of theMediaFlow. She will cover aspects as campaign planning, measuring success and good practices in content marketing.

Ladies that UX

The London chapter of Ladies that UX was set up in January 2014 and is part of the global Ladies that UX group. It works as a collaborative community of women looking forward to push the boundaries and promote the role of women within UX.

The chapter is led by Sophie Mitchell and Georgie Bottomley and is opened to those already working in UX or for those looking to make the move. Over a year, the global group has brought together more than 600 London Ladies at over 13 events including partnering with some of the top UX Conferences.

Monthly events include user-led talks, inspirational panel discussions, lightning talks, and workshops. According to the group, events have been planned up until the end of 2015. For those interested, email Ladies that UX at london@ladiesthatux.com to join their mailing list or follow them o Twitter at @LadiesthatUX_LN.

How altruism can help to get more women in STEM

NigeriaGirlsRIGHT

Altruism can play a role in making science, technology, engineering and mathematics more accessible to women.

Anne-Marie Imafidon, assistant vice-president at Deutsche Bank and founder of Stemettes, an organization to inspire girls to pursue careers in STEM areas, points out that, besides creativity, it is key to show women they are able to solve problems by using technology.

Imafidon says women can be great problem-solvers when empowered by STEM knowledge.

To make her point, the executive mentions initiatives such as the group of four girls in Nigeria that created a machine to convert urine into electricity and the three Irish girls who developed a project to tackle the global food crisis.

Listen to the Stemettes’ founder talking about the topic:

When asked why the tech industry should be aware of the gender gap, she says that all industries would benefit from having a more diverse workforce.

“We have big problems. And no offense, while the guys are chasing billions by making apps, you have to have someone who is actually using the great technology that we have to solve the problems we have, whether they are hunger, illiteracy or infrastructure.”

Listen to her talking about gender equality here:

More from this article

If you would like to know about the examples Imafidon mentioned in her interview, here are the links:

Meet the 11-year-old inventor of the ‘unbreakable cup

This woman invented a way to run 30 lab tests on only one drop of blood

Featured image: Nigeria girls that created a machine to convert urine into electricity. Credit to Erik Hersman

Tackling the gender gap in the tech industry starts at school

KIDS

The gender disparity in the tech industry starts earlier than people might think.

When looking to figures about the industry, it is not only that employers aren’t hiring women: girls are reluctant in choosing degrees in fields such as computer science and engineering.

The latest figures on women’s participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the UK show that only 13% of all STEM jobs in the UK are occupied by women, according to a study by the Wise Campaign.

“Technology is so much about innovation, about how you apply skills to make things better. And women’s creativity and mindset, which is focused on solving problems, are not being considered technology,” says Torie Chilcott, CEO and co-founder of Rockabox Studios.

Chilcott believes that to get more women to the STEM areas it is necessary to emphasize the creative aspect of these areas.

“Creativity is not being taught at schools as an skill and the STEM areas are not being presented in an appealing way.

“It is necessary to stop the vertical subjects and start focusing on problem solving,” she says.

Watch Chilcott, winner of the “Woman of the Year” at the everywoman in Technology Awards 2014, talking about gender gap in the tech industry.

Photo credit: Nasa.

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