As new grads continue to flock to the booming tech industry, CSI’s “Women in Technology” club combats the industry’s persisting gender inequality.
By Michael Levitas
Photo Credit: techrepublic.com
The tech industry is booming at the moment, with thousands of college students every single year seeking degrees in tech and computer science.
The field has promised many new, high-paying jobs. With this precipitous increase in demand for tech workers, women have also decided to jump on board.
For the last twenty years, technical work has been generalized and stereotyped as a male position.
Many have tried to counter this harmful stereotype; as of 2023, women hold 26.7% of technology jobs. This statistic, however, still displays an alarming gap between men and women in tech.
At CSI, we have a club named “Women in Technology.” I spoke with the president and founder of the club, Laura Kaplan.
Kaplan founded the club in 2020 in order to combat isolation and connect with her peers, particularly other women. She explained the absence of women in tech and discussed the concept of hyper-visibility, where women’s failures are often highlighted and given extra attention compared to men’s.
If a girl scores a low grade on an exam, she is more likely to be singled out, which creates additional pressure. Kaplan acknowledged and talked about the prevalent role of misogyny in the tech industry, especially in regards to advertising, where she never felt represented.
Her statements reflect reality; according to an IT consulting firm named Accenture, half of all young women leave their jobs in tech before age 35. The primary reason is non-inclusive work culture: many women don’t have access to paid maternity leave, are underrepresented in leadership roles, and are often underpaid.
Women used to make up a large majority of programmers. At the time, it was considered women’s work.
Figures, such as Ava Lovelace, made large contributions to the field. When programming gradually became more prestigious, men suddenly started flooding in and displacing women from positions.
The tech industry is a significant example of how unfortunate gender essentialism is. Men and women don’t have fixed, immutable roles; instead, they have roles that are constantly changing and we should recognize that.
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