The stereotypical IT department is usually associated with employees trapped in a tangle of cables. They are not very eager to share secret knowledge. Another stereotype is that it’s all about fixing computers. Such stereotypes discourage women from choosing careers in IT.
Also, the IT jobs might be still perceived as requiring long hours and delivering high levels of stress. Women are more likely than men to prioritize work-life balance when considering career choices.
An additional factor will be the lack of awareness about various career paths available in IT sector. The conservative IT feels very technical, but it has many shades and colors and mixes with economics, biology, mathematics. Finally, another factor is that there is still a lot of discrimination in the workplace…
To have more women in IT, we must break through the stereotypes and show young girls that they can actively help shape society with technologies., i.e by increasing awareness of the opportunities available in IT and by highlighting the successful women in IT which will become role models for the young generation.
As the foundation stone for a future profession is laid at a young age, we should encourage reforms in education so that the STEM fields (like computer science, engineering, and mathematics, etc) appear attractive to women. This can be done especially by providing scholarships, internships, and mentorship programs to women pursuing STEM degrees.
Companies should build a family-friendly corporate culture. Children and career must be compatible constellation for many employees these days. We see a strong changing trend in this area, the workplaces (especially in IT sector) is beginning to reshape providing a great doze of flexibility, for example in working hours, location and working arrangements. This trend, which was accelerated by the pandemics, is strengthen due to the shortage of skilled workers and because of “Generation Z”, who are becoming more and more present on the job market.
The IT industry has still some work to do in terms of gender equity. I am glad to see that the new generation brings optimism into this area. Generation Z is not afraid to fight for equality of pay, treatment and equal opportunities.
As a woman at BusinessCode, I feel respected and valued by my colleagues and the customers. I have a great dose of freedom in the areas that I was entrusted. Also, I feel supported in various ways. In BusinessCode we have very inclusive and supportive work environment, in terms of knowledge sharing for example, but also in terms of working arrangements. Due to my current family situation (raising 2 small kids) I needed to reduce my working hours and have more flexible working schedule. And surely often, I also feel challenged due to the technical nature of my work. But that’s a great advantage of this job, as it provides constant drive for learning.
To female IT developers I can say this: Do not let stereotypes discourage you. Trust your qualifications and qualities. We women sometimes feel like we don’t know enough in the male-dominated fields, and that discourages us from even applying for an IT job. Bear in mind that that companies today need to operate in a very agile, constantly changing environment, which needs a large portion of communication skills, team work and empathy. These are just 3 characteristics (among many others) that are particularly ascribed to women that IT professionals need to bring to the table today. This situation opens a great prospect for women whose contribution to the success of projects started to increase values in the IT industry in the recent years.
Technology is also a broad sector with a variety of different career paths, from programming or consulting through to systems infrastructure design. I’d recommend to research on what is the career path you’d like to follow and then stay focused, keep learning and be willing to take on new projects and responsibilities.