I.T’s All Men! By Shannon Begley
Here in Ireland, we are reaping the rewards of our educational system, the vibrant indigenous tech start-up scene, our multilingual recourses and our highly skilled work force. We are also home to 16 of the top 20 global software companies, the top 3 global enterprise software companies and 9 of the top 10 US ICT companies. But are we doing enough? Surely in a growing modern economy, inequality should not be so evident. The on-going battle of equality in the work place is a story we are all familiar with. Isn’t it time to stop stereotyping developers, programmers, and engineers? There is no question that there are more men than women in tech, so why don’t we ask ourselves, why are women so under-represented in the tech sector?
Perhaps the change must start in schools. If you were into walk into any university or college in Ireland, you would enter the lecture halls of the computer science modules to be greeted by a sea of men staring back at you. If you look closely, yes, you will also see women but not nearly as much as you will men. I went to an all-girls secondary school. Whilst I prepared for my own leaving cert I was encouraged to explore many varying options for potential 3rd level education. Some weeks we had speakers. The speakers spoke about hospitality, law, HR, childcare, the list goes on. However, engineering and IT speakers where not so common. In fact, from what I remember there was only one. Technology or engineering is not a man’s job or does not better suit men and this message needs to be communicated to all young teens entering third level education.
If we were to take look at some of the largest tech companies, we have yet to see a female dominated work force. Let’s take Amazon, Apple, Facebook and LinkedIn for example. We can all agree that these are four of the largest tech companies in the world today. All of which only see approximately 30% of their work force as female.
Let’s see these figures change in 2018. With Ireland flourishing in the tech sector, why don’t we let Ireland stand out again in 2018 by becoming a global example of changing stereotypes both socially and culturally. Living in Ireland allows you to have a very high quality of life and attracts talent from numerous countries around the world. In recruitment you see this every day. 2018 should be the year that Ireland’s diversity is another unique selling point as to why more MNC’S should move business to Ireland.
When looking at your strategic plan for 2018, have a look at your work force and open your eyes to this gender gap in the tech industry, and make a change.
Do you agree with me? I would love to hear your opinion on this.