Women: Lack Of Women In Technology

1448 Words 6 Pages
Women in Technology

The lack of women in technology has been discussed extensively in recent years, and yet women are still very much in the minority when it comes to the composition of tech firms. This number shrinks even more when it comes to tech based entrepreneurs and CEOs (Miller, 2010). Additionally, women leave tech jobs at a rate much higher than men (Wu, 2014). Some believe that this is because STEM subjects are difficult and unappealing to women. Others make the argument that because women are such a minority, it can actually give them an unfair advantage and help them get ahead. However, not only are women discriminated against in the tech industry, but they are also discouraged from choosing such a career path in the first place.
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One study tested the effect of priming a group of Asian American women with their identity as either Asian or female, with a control group that was not reminded to identify as either. The results showed the reality of stereotype threat, with those identifying as Asian, a demographic stereotypically good at math, performing significantly better than the control group, while those in the “women” group did significantly worse (Shih et al, 1999). There have been various targeted efforts to attract girls to computer programming, many of them successful, such as the Girls Who Code program. Yet because of these pervasive stereotypes, it seems clear that a broader cultural shift is necessary in order to affect change on a larger scale. Relatedly, some advocates for women in technology like Rebekah Iliff (2014) believe that portraying aspects of the tech industry as “soft” or “creative” will help attract more women to the field. However, backing the assumption that women prefer “soft” sciences helps perpetuate the very gender stereotypes that make it so difficult for women to be accepted as equals. These stereotypes are detrimental to everyone, not just women, because they create cultural norms and expectations that can be difficult to work around. Men should not be ridiculed for expressing emotion because it is “womanly” any more …show more content…
(2014, October 23). How to Think About Gender Inequality and Diversity in Tech. Inc. Retrieved November 20, 2014, from http://www.inc.com/rebekah-iliff/how-to-think-about-gender-inequality-and-diversity-in-tech.html
Littlewood, M. (2014, October 10). "We don 't have a women in technology problem at Business of Software Conference". BLN and Business of Software. Retrieved November 20, 2014, from http://businessofsoftware.org/2014/10/we-dont-have-a-women-in-technology-problem-at-business-of-software-conference/
Miller, C. (2010, April 17). Out of the Loop in Silicon Valley. The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/technology/18women.html?pagewanted=all
Parkin, S. (2014, September 9). Zoe Quinn 's Depression Quest. The New Yorker. Retrieved November 20, 2014, from http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/zoe-quinns-depression-quest
Shih, M., Pittinsky, T., & Ambady, N. (1999). Stereotype Susceptibility: Identity Salience And Shifts In Quantitative Performance. Psychological Science, 10(1), 80-83.
Tassi, P. (2013, September 26). On Gender And 'GTA 5 '. Forbes. Retrieved November 20, 2014, from

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