Women and Technology
Women have a lot to say in the technology sector. We can travel back in time and look at some of the contributions made by women that support this statement:
- Ada Lovelace (the first female programmer in history for the creation of the analytical machine).
- Grace Murray Hopper (forerunner of the COBOL language, a compiler that was key to the development of modern computing).
- Hedy Lamarr (inventor of the frequency hopping spread spectrum used in GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi connections), the statement that starts this post does not seem so far-fetched.
Currently, women represent 55% of those enrolled in universities. However, it is estimated that the percentage of women in technical careers is only 18% in Spain and 23% in Europe, with little variation over the last two decades.
Female IT Talent on the road to achieving equality
On 8 March 2022, International Women’s Day, atSistemas organised a Round Table giving voice to professional women in the IT sector who shared with us anecdotes and situations that they have experienced in order to promote and give value to female talent on the road to achieving equality.
In the following video, Daniel Hidalgo, Responsible for the External Training for Companies in atSistemas is the moderator of the round table where, as said above, four inspiring female IT professionals recount their experiences in the sector, the challenges, their achievements and other interesting anecdotes in order to give visibility to the the gender stereotype which essentially is a huge barrier of progress and success in society.
These women are:
- Virginia Míguez – Partner Manager in RedHat
- Lisa Martínez – Director South EMEA Apigee at Google Cloud Platform
- Carmen San Segundo – Global Communications Director, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at IBM
- Mar Aguilera – Managing Director of Fundación Alares
Reasons why Women are a Minority in the Technology Sector
One of the main factors causing this gender gap is the prevalence of certain stereotypes that separate what is masculine and feminine and the skills associated with each gender.Unfortunately, these professions are mostly perceived as socially masculine careers.
Another reason is the role of women and their contributions. In the middle of World War II, a group of women designed the software that ran one of the first general purpose computers, called ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Intgegrator and Computer). This computer calculated artillery firing tables for the US Army Ballistics Research Laboratory. However, the success of this technological contribution was attributed to two men, leaving the real inventors of this computer in the background.
There is still a way to go
There is still a lot of work to be done in terms of equality and balance between women and men in the IT sector. It is necessary to break with stereotypes rooted in society and, from childhood, to instil values that promote this equality.
In this sense, there are other elements that need to be considered in order to reduce this gap. Among them is the reconciliation of family, personal and working life, which tends to have a more advantageous impact on women.