The significance of gender diversity in the workplace is no secret, and an industry where the gender divide is very apparent is the tech sector. The Women in STEM Decadal Plan found only 27 per cent of girls in Australia are likely to undertake STEM subjects in school.
The future of work will be dominated by STEM, but there is a huge shortage of these skills in Australia. The IT industry has long been dominated by men, but with digital technologies becoming more prevalent, there’s never been a better time for women to consider a job in the tech sector.
If you’re thinking about a career in tech, here are six things you need to consider:
The technology sector often tops lists for high salaries and job opportunities in Australia. With COVID-19 forcing organisations to embrace digital, technology jobs are now in a stronger position compared to many other industries. The Federal Government is also investing over one billion dollars in the nation’s technology and innovation capabilities, so not only is there good money but job security is also assured.
There’s been a significant shift in work culture in recent years, with parents sharing responsibilities and employees expecting better work-life balance. Workplace flexibility has also accelerated over the last 12 months due to the pandemic.
Providing work-life balance is no longer a perk for employers but a must-have. We encourage staff to work the hours that they’re most productive. Having women in leadership ensures this flexibility is ingrained in company culture.
Only a quarter of graduates in technology in the developed world are female. So, there is a huge window for women to bridge the gender divide. Science has also found that women have higher intuitiveness and empathy than men, which are traits often missing when developing tech products. Women are found to be better at connecting tech with business outcomes – according to Fortune, women-led companies perform three times better than male-led.
The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report found 65 per cent of children starting primary school now, will have jobs that don’t exist yet. This digital future means there is always something new to learn, and scope to get creative to find new solutions. A career in tech means you’ll never be bored. We’re always looking for fresh ideas, so my staff have the creative freedom to invent and discover new things in technology and machine learning – we specifically set aside time for this each week. It helps foster an environment where people can constantly learn and where everyone has a voice.
Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and the internet of things aren’t just transforming businesses but also being used to improve lives. In Russia, Impulse Neiry is using technology to detect neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s years in advance, and NASA technology is being used to conserve endangered whale sharks. There are so many ways to help people, animals and the planet using tech, and women have the potential to be a part of it.
According to a Microsoft survey, girls in the US consider tech careers at age 11 but lose interest soon after, with many blaming a lack of female mentors. With more women taking on STEM roles, we have the power to challenge the status quo and increase the voices of women in the industry. By considering a career in tech, you can empower more young girls to get involved.
Rachel Gately, Co-Founder, Trellis Data