April 4 was Equal Pay Day, and as it comes to a close let’s reflect on where women in technology stand today.
Women in computer and math fields are still a minority at approx 26% of the workforce. When asked why there aren’t more woman in STEM fields the genial guess that I sometimes reply with is that making things is hard and for many, there is easier work out there. I feel a pang of guilt saying this, because to some extent I’m throwing my gender under the bus. But if you have ever slumped over in your office chair at 10pm trying to finish an important task then you know what I’m talking about. There are lots of simpler ways to make a living than this. I can see why some women become receptionists 9-5.
Ouch! That said, there’s no field I’d rather be in.
As a lady who writes volumes of code, I’m a bit dismayed to see that black women in tech are rated at 79 cents on the dollar vs white womens’ 90 cents. It’s also not surprising to see that the corporate culture is often unwelcoming to women, because like many industries this one also suffers from the clashing of larger than life egos. At tech centered events it is not uncommon for there to be only one or two women in the room, although the Phoenix area does have its own Girl Develop It chapter with over 1200 members.
The silver lining though is that while venture capital tends to avoid women fronted companies, those that are chosen produce 12% higher revenue and also a 35% higher ROI. Let’s see more of this!