Why We Should Encourage More Women to Work in IT
A significantly larger number of women tech professionals than men believe that their gender is underrepresented in the IT industry, according to a recent survey from Harvey Nash, an IT recruiting, outsourcing/offshoring and executive search firm, and ARA, an organization that seeks to attract, retain and advance women in technology. The resulting report, "2017 Women in Technology: Overcoming Obstacles and Unlocking Potential," indicates that much of the issue takes shape at an early age for future tech workers: More men than women said they first grew interested in IT as a potential career in elementary or middle school. Men are also more likely to focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classes in college. It should come as no surprise, then, that a majority of survey respondents feel that it's key to encourage more girls to pursue tech subjects in school. "The visibility and value of a STEM education has skyrocketed in the last decade, but we're not yet seeing the full impact translate to the IT workplace," said Bob Miano, USA president and CEO of Harvey Nash. "School and home life can spark the first interest in technology, but individuals as well as companies need to take action throughout the lifecycle of IT careers to keep that enthusiasm alive. There's no shortage of viable career opportunities for those with an IT interest, whether they become interested early or later. Increasing and keeping women in IT is critical to meet the demand for tech talent in the midst of a permanent IT labor shortage." Nearly 660 women and men tech professionals took part in the research.