Yes, Women Can Succeed in Tech, But How Does the Uneven Playing Field Impact Their Journey?

Numbers show issues in terms of socioeconomics and race

Close-up of a young businesswoman holding a pair of glassesThe technology industry is a male dominated space. While it’s not uncommon to see women calling the shots as founders, chief executives or board members, men typically reign supreme in this industry. Take a closer look, narrowing the numbers down by race, and you’ll see the percentage is even lower when it comes to people of color.

Since most top tech companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, IBM, Twitter, and Microsoft don’t disclose employee data, the exact numbers are unknown but it’s clear that women and minorities are underrepresented in the field.

A recent Forbes article points out that although the mainstream media constantly highlights the lack of women in the field, there’s not enough attention given to the fact that women are a growing minority in the space. “The media tends to pick one or two favorite women in high positions in the top companies and highlights their success as an anomaly,” writes ForbesPriyanka Sharma. “Not only is their portrayal as an anomaly false, it also makes aspiring career women assume technology is not for them.”

While the business and financial news outlet is valid in stating the technical landscape is changing with more women receiving advanced degrees in STEM and entering into tech careers, no mention was made of the socioeconomic and racial implications of the current state of tech. For starters, none of the women used to support the writer’s argument are of color. There have been numerous lists provided by major outlets and recognition given at conferences, and, in many cases, none of the technophiles, entrepreneurs or innovators recognized are Black and/or Latino, let alone women. Hence, organizations like Blacks in Tech, Black Girls Code, and NewME exist.

#SoundOff: While the landscape is changing, what are your thoughts on opportunities for women in tech? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

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