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While the percentage of college-educated women in the workforce has grown to 50.7% as of late 2022, the percentage of women in tech is still at a low of 26.7%. While progress has been made in recent years to promote and provide equal opportunity in the tech world, there is still much to be done. One way we can continue the progress is by identifying what these specific barriers are and how we, as individuals and as companies, can work to dismantle them. Today our experts have put together a list of some of the current most pressing barriers women in tech face and some ways we can work to break them down. Let’s get started.
For women and girls, finding people within the community to become their mentor is difficult. Many spaces give male tech leaders the spotlight, including the media. Without readily available information on where to find female tech leaders to reach out to or look up to for guidance, finding out how to pave your way into the industry can feel daunting and lonely.
Statistically speaking, women are vastly underrepresented in leadership roles in tech. With women making up more than 50% of the college-educated workforce, more of them should be given the opportunity to grow within their respective companies. Unfortunately, there are many circumstances where a man is given the first opportunity to move up instead of a woman with the same experience and qualifications.
Unequal pay between men and women is sadly not uncommon nor is it unique to the tech industry. For decades, women have rallied and advocated for equal pay, and while progress has been made, it is not uncommon to see men with higher pay for the same exact role a woman is holding while making considerably less.
Imposter syndrome is a common symptom of being a woman in a male-dominated or run industry. While women are just as qualified and skilled as men in tech, many develop thoughts of severe self-intellectual doubt. With imposter syndrome comes feelings of believing that your professional success has been due to luck and not real talent, followed by a fear that everyone will someday see you as a fraud and not worthy of your position.
By encouraging more women to speak at tech events, the visibility of women in the industry will grow. This is something both companies and individuals can do better on. If your company is planning on attending and taking part in an upcoming tech event, take the time to audit the list of speakers you have. Are any of them women? Do you have a woman at your company who is interested in speaking? Ask yourself and your fellow employees these questions. The first step to creating visibility is to provide a space for women to voice their interest in taking part in larger discussions. If you are someone who is speaking at an upcoming conference or event, think about how you can get more women involved. Reach out to colleges and event coordinators and develop a plan that will aim at growing the number of female speakers.
The confidence gap is a pressing issue in the tech space. The existence of this gap creates extra hurdles for women when it comes to securing their deserved level of pay and going after higher or new positions. According to reports, women with eight years of experience in computer science have the same level of confidence in their skills as men with 0 years of experience. By closing the confidence gap, barriers like unequal growth opportunities and pay will have one less leg to stand on. Closing this gap alone will not eliminate these barriers altogether but will get us one step closer to the end goal of workplace equality for all.
One way to help break down imposter syndrome, instill more confidence, and find a community of support is by following more women in tech on social media. Here are 10 women in tech we find inspiring that you can start following today.
Tamara is an Enterprise Solution Engineer who has made a name for herself in tech through her online presence and impressive industry advice. She currently runs The Females in Tech Show podcast covering career advice and featuring the personal success stories of women in tech.
Reshma is the founder and CEO of a nonprofit, Girls Who Code, which provides young women with the necessary skills and the confidence it takes to become tech masters and excel in computer sciences. When she’s not inspiring the masses, Reshma is pouring her stories and advice into books. Her international best-seller, Brave Not Perfect, encourages women to embrace their interests, face their fears, and expect failures on their way to success. You can get a regular dose of this inspiration through her Brave Not Perfect podcast as well.
Laura is a software engineer known as CodeGirl on Instagram. Laura combines her love for coding with her love for fashion and is taking her Insta followers with her on her journey to create her own clothing collection. Her blog is the perfect mix of tech and lifestyle. From career advice to fashion, here you can really find it all.
Estefannie is a software engineer who hasn't lost touch with her creative, crafty side. Her YouTube channel is full of programming and hobby videos, and her Instagram displays everything from daily life updates to relatable career content.
Hosanna, the self-proclaimed tech fairy godmother, is an azure specialist at Microsoft. In her free time, she uploads tons of useful and inspiring content aimed at helping other women get into the crazy world of tech. She specializes in encouraging those with no tech background to get into the field and provides quick and to-the-point career guidance on TikTok. On YouTube, you can find videos that go even deeper into how to get your foot in the door in tech.
Kedasha is a software engineer who shares her experience making a major career shift from social work to tech work. On her social media pages, you can find truthful depictions of what life as a software engineer is like and find advice for changing careers and navigating life in tech.
Farah is currently the lead technical recruiter at The New York Times. Her social media spaces offer tips on looking for and securing jobs in the tech space. If you’re looking for tech job interview hacks you definitely want to follow her TikTok.
Sasha is a web developer and UI/UX engineer. Her content revolves around her love for gaming, NFTs, mechanical keyboards, and getting real about life as a developer. From tips for creating an aesthetically pleasing home office to a day in the life as a developer post, Sasha’s a great woman in tech to be following.
Maya is a Full-Stack Engineer at Slack. Her content is full of motivating, inspiring, and relatable advice on coding and the work/life balance. From job interview story times to short-form videos on how to set boundaries at work, you’re not going to regret following Maya for the best tech life inspo.
At Integrant, women make up about 50% of our leadership positions. Our CEO, Yousef, and VP of Client Delivery, Julie, have both published blogs explaining the importance of women in the industry and their efforts to create, support, and maintain an open, transparent, and inclusive environment for all. Equality is the bare minimum, and we all deserve the same level of respect, support, and opportunity in our personal and professional lives regardless of who we are, where we come from, or what we look like. Learn more about the values and priorities of Integrant by checking out any of our blogs linked below!
Integrant’s Vision is to transform the software development lifecycle through predictable results.