Over the centuries we've had, and still have, many influential and powerful women on the planet. There have been female Prime Ministers. Astronauts and even Queens who have been extremely influential. But this really makes me wonder; why is it that the IT industry has a lack of women? To be honest, through carrying out a bit of research, whilst taking in all the different views out there and speaking to a number of women in IT, I still have not been able to hit a concrete answer.
After reading various articles, I found some similarities in peoples views. There seemed to be many arguments stating that the lack of women CEO's and managers in the IT industry is a small part of the problem. But saying this, the first computer programmer Ada Lovelace was female, so surely this is a figure women should look up to?
If women have managed to work hard towards such outstanding achievements, then what is it about the IT industry that has caused a dramatic decline in the number of women workers?
In the days of the second world war, Bletchley Park was dominated by talented female code-breakers but there doesn't seem to be any answer as to what has changed the shift in the ratio of women to men over the decades. It could be said this is one of the reasons that introducing women in technology is key. Understandably there are many women out there who have had an interest in technology and been put off pursuing it further and on the other hand there are women who may not yet realise that they may be inspired and have a significant talent in this field, if only they gave it a chance. The lack of women in IT is limiting the creativity and innovation that could be introduced into the industry.
Come to think of it if someone had told me I'd be working for an IT company after university, I would have probably laughed. I think I've broken about 4 laptops in in the last 6 years to the point where they don't even turn on! I mean I wanted to be a Chartered Surveyor after I finished university and got my degree. But working at Sirius has opened me up to so much (without trying to sound like a geek) cool stuff! Whilst over hearing all this IT jargon amongst the engineers, it got me intrigued into finding out what they were talking about. Now I actually know what Zabbix and Nagios are! And the great thing is, because the IT industry is fast moving; each day is different and you learn something new everyday.
To get rid of the perception that the technology industry is not a place for women, I think it has to be introduced and encouraged from an early age. Even introducing more female IT teachers would give young girls the encouragement they need. Even holding open days and graduate fairs at a university level would be a basis to encourage more women into this industry.
Whilst I have yet to come across an answer as to why so few women in IT, it is understandably clear that something has to be done to destroy the stereotypical idea that IT engineers can only be male and more action needs to be taken to encourage females into this rapidly developing and exciting industry.
In order for me to come up with the answer, I will be carrying out further research and speaking to women leaders in IT to produce my conclusion. I'm actually intrigued to see what doors this will open up for my next blog and if I will finally find my answer.