“My current job is actually a huge detour from my education,” says Monika, a Software Test Engineer, working at SolDevelo. “I’ve actually got my PhD in marine biology,” she adds, much to our surprise. How, on earth, did a marine biologist end up working in IT? But then Monika explains: “I’ve always been drawn to new technologies. So when I started my career as a software tester, I actually felt in place almost immediately.”
These words make a heart soften. It turns out to be a matter of passion. The passion that drives you to do things which might seem unreasonable to others, but they make you happy. And that is all that matters.
Equality in Technology: Working through the stereotypes
In order to discuss the position of women in technology, we need to first come to grips with unfair stereotypes. They were around for so long that now it is hard to eradicate them.
The common belief that men are performing better in technological tasks can be quite disheartening to many young girls who are interested in IT, and are considering following this path in their future careers. It must be discouraging when your passion is perceived by others as “typically male” or even “made for men”. Such opinions can make young women feel less appreciated and eventually lose their confidence in this field.
Truth be told, a girl working in technology is still a rather rare sight to see. We are so used to men being the ones who lead this field, that the female representation is largely unseen, even if it has been steadily growing for the past few years. Unfortunately, statistics are still not so thrilling.
In 2021 only 1 in 4 jobs in technology was performed by a woman.
From this one statistic alone you can realize that we still have a long way to go in terms of executing gender equality in this field. Women also have smaller chances of promotion to a higher position, than men do. It might be one of the reasons why girls are quitting IT jobs much more often.
It is also hard not to mention the pay gap. When it comes to the US, the situation is improving. Pay gap between men and women in IT in 2019 was 4,4%, while in 2020 it decreased to 2,5%. However, it is important to acknowledge that there are countries in the world where the pay gap is drastically higher. For example, in South Korea it reaches a shocking number of 41%.
A spark of hope
Current situation is far from perfect, but women are slowly working their way through the crowd of men, and showing their passion to the next generation.
When asked, what they love about working in IT, girls from SolDevelo answer with powerful statements:
“The IT industry is a really challenging one. And I like challenges. You need to constantly develop yourself and learn, if you want to be on the top. Besides that, I really like this feeling that the projects we are working on and solutions we are providing, really make other people’s lives better,” says Dominika, a Project Manager.
Ewa, a Customer Care Specialist, shares a similar mindset: “To me the biggest benefit of working in the IT field is how challenging it is. With each customer case there is something more to discover and something more to learn. In general, the IT field presents me with a lot of opportunities for self-development and growth.”
The willingness to grow and to take up new challenges is what drives SolDevelo girls towards success. And we are glad that it does! Their contribution really makes a difference and changes people’s lives for the better.
Each one of them is a great specialist in her own field. We asked them what are the most important and required skills in their jobs.
When it comes to gender inequality, we are glad to hear that Monika, Ewa, Dominika and Nikola have not experienced such issues in their careers.
Monika expresses her gratitude for the supportive people that surround her and treat her with professional respect. Dominika stresses the importance of strong will. If there is a path that you want to follow, it is up to you to try hard and fulfill your dream.
Nikola, however, admits that, although she has never experienced gender-based inequality in her career, she has experienced it during her education. Multiple times she heard that men are better at technological tasks than women. Nikola, of course, disagrees with such a point of view. “It all depends on our mindset, not gender,” she says.
Nikola’s experiences focus our attention on an important aspect of the problem. IT companies like SolDevelo might be great places for skilled and passionate women to thrive. But the issue of gender inequality starts even earlier than in worklife.
During education many girls and young women are being discouraged from pursuing technology-related careers. Their effort is often less appreciated and their skills are not being acknowledged. In younger age, girls are also less frequently encouraged to develop hobbies such as programming, than boys.
It is one of the reasons why so many women that are currently working in IT have initially studied something completely different. It took them more time to find their way to this industry that they feel like they belong to, because there was not enough exposure to such possibilities in their childhood and young adulthood. It is important to acknowledge this problem and to put an effort in changing the system.
Girls have so much to offer and so much to show the world. We need to support them.
The power of diversity
When talking about women in IT, we must not forget that their situation is different depending on the country that they are living in and the society norms that influence their opportunities and their perspectives for technology-related careers.
For instance, in developing countries of Africa it is still very difficult for women interested in STEM to pursue their dream jobs. Being restricted from many forms of work and struggling with low pay, African women often can not afford engaging in technology-related activities.
Additionally, patriarchal societies are not supportive of women’s self-growth and ambition in complex careers, such as programmer. They are still largely limited when it comes to their life choices. The poor quality of education deepens the problem even further. Young girls have little to no chances to get interested in STEM, because they often simply have no contact with these areas of knowledge at all.
There are some amazing initiatives focused on supporting and empowering African women in IT, such as Women in Tech Africa, African Women in Technology or She Code Africa. We encourage you to check out their websites and learn some inspiring stories!
Teaching more girls around the world how to code can bring a positive change in everyone’s lives. According to studies, the more diverse the team of IT professionals is, the more quality and thought-out products they can create, and the more people are satisfied with their work. Engaging more women in the technology industry is a way to success. With their diverse skills and talents, as well as different points of view, they can open the whole new stage of scientific and social impact.
We are proud and happy to say that SolDevelo gives women a lot of opportunities to grow and develop, appreciating all employees’ work equally, no matter what gender they identify as. We all live in this world together, and together we can make a change.
Everyday is a Women’s Day
Even though it is still March, we are a little late for International Women’s Day. This fact, however, makes our point stand even stronger.
International Women’s Day is, of course, a positive and impactful celebration of female power. But our celebration and our support towards women should not end there. Women are powerful and impactful all the time. Every single day, every single hour they are putting effort to change the world, and make it a better place for everyone.
They are also extremely skilled, innovative and passionate in everything they do.
Not everyone knows this, but actually the first computer programmer in history was a woman! Her name was Ada Lovelace and she lived in the first half of the 19th century. She came up with a detailed description of how an Analytical Engine – a machine invented by her friend and considered to be the first computer – would perform tasks.
You can read about Ada and many other inspiring women that have built the foundation of IT here: History of Women in IT.
We invite you to watch the whole interview with Dominika and Nikola. Let their positive energy be a source of motivation for you!
Want to join our inspiring specialists from SolDevelo? Check the Careers page and become a part of our team today!
We also invite you to read our other articles, to find out how technology can help make people’s lives better: Non-profit Case Studies.
She Code Africa 2021 Annual Report
History of Women in IT
techjury: Women in Technology Statistics: What’s New in 2022?
TechTarget | Women in tech statistics: The latest research and trends
DataProt | Women in Tech Statistics: Girls Get Tech
Deloitte: Women in the tech industry: Gaining ground, but facing new headwinds