This International Women’s Day, while we are celebrating all women, we want to draw special attention to gender equality in the tech world.
From the onset of computers to the modern age of artificial intelligence, women have drastically changed the tech world. Their outstanding achievements have been while fighting against all odds, in a historically unwelcoming and unappreciative field.
A gender gap still remains in digital access today, hindering women from tapping into technology’s full potential. An underrepresentation in STEM education translates into careers, creating a built-in barrier for women participating in tech design and governance. The tech and digital industry also comes with the inescapable threat of gender-based violence. This, along with a lack of legal recourse, consequently forces many women out of the space that they do occupy in the industry. Throughout history, women in tech have been practically invisible in the field due to not only these pervasive barriers, but also because of society’s lack of acknowledgement and appreciation of their contributions.
Thanks to the courage and intelligence of some incredible women over the years, women have increasingly entered the tech field and achieved amazing things. To name a few:
- Ada Lovelace: The World’s First Computer Programmer
- Grace Hopper: Esteemed Computer Scientist
- Hedy Lamarr: The Inventor of Wi-Fi
- Annie Easley: NASA Rocket Scientist
- Radia Perlman: The Mother Of The Internet
Simultaneously, the tech world is opening so many new doors for women and girls’ empowerment. From gender-responsive digital learning, fertility technology, to the establishment of many women pioneers in the field, this new age of tech that we live in gives us the unparalleled chance to create a better future that includes the innovations and appreciation of girls and women globally. Women in the tech field need to be encouraged to be vocal about their ambitions and achievements, to allow for more and more female role models for girls to look up to.
Being a woman in tech means fostering courage and breaking down barriers for the girls and women to follow. It means educating our male counterparts and businesses to recognise the talents of women and support their organic growth. While it is challenging that the gender gap still exists, it is also rewarding to see how far we’ve come and the trajectory that we’re on now. What started as a space unwelcoming of girls and women, has now become a haven of female innovation and leadership, which is only continuing to grow.
If the voices celebrating the achievements of women tech are amplified, more women will feel empowered in their career choices, and in turn, young girls will be inspired.