Concerning the division of labour in the workplace, we hear the same sentiments repeated over and over. There are simply more men than women. In no profession is the echoing of this statement more necessary than in that of software developers. A recent article states that 92.1% of people in the industry are male.
The survey included respondents from 157 countries and as such there was no bias to the USA and the companies in Silicon Valley. Business Insider also comprised a list of countries with ‘the best female programmers’. The United States did not make the list.
Moreover, the United States, and more specifically, the tech behemoths of Silicon Valley such as, Facebook, Google etc are reportedly above the world average with 15% and 17% respectively. This, however, does not denote to anything near equality of representation in the tech workplace.
Business Insider’s list of countries with the best female programmers was topped by Russia. In an article published by the Russian Times earlier this year, a country was named as one of the best for male-female workplace representation in the tech industry, with an impressive 41%. No prizes for guessing which country it was.
These facts are screaming to be interpreted. It seems to me that if you invest in equality in the workplace, you will reap considerable rewards. There should be no argument that women are unsuited to any kind of work and Russia’s dedication to providing women with the opportunity to ply their trade in a predominantly male-subjugated industry is perhaps an approach many other countries, including the U.S could learn from.
The article goes on to say that Russian culture encourages their people, male and female, to get involved with technology at a grassroots level providing them with ample state opportunities to hone their craft in the scientific spheres of work. Could this approach, when applied to other countries around the world solve the humungous gender representation problem in the technology industry?
At this point, it would seem prudent to mention the online campaign spearheaded by Accenture. This campaign concerns the attempt to amend the aforementioned gender representation gap in US coding.
Specifically what Accenture aims to do is triple the number of women in computing, boost women’s cumulative earnings by $229 billion and increase women’s computing workforce from 24% to 39%, all by 2025.
It is their approach to this, however, which has shades of the Russian method previously mentioned, that is truly noteworthy. To be precise, the hope is that they can deconstruct the overtly masculine perception of computing. To encourage girls at the three main stages of their education; sparking their interest in Junior High, sustaining their interest throughout high school thus finally inspiring them in and after college. The hope is that during a three-step, educational program that breaks down any gender stereotypes that have commonly been associated with programming, young women will no longer be deterred from entering that world, as it is assumed they have been.