There’s been a spotlight put on the lack of women in tech companies recently. Specifically women in technical roles. This isn’t a problem unique to one country. It’s an industry wide issue across the globe.
In recent years, top tech companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google have been sharing their gender diversity data. That’s offered some much-needed transparency into the current state of affairs. Everyone agrees that tech companies still have a long way to go. But the problem goes deeper than just hiring more women in tech roles. Many markets don’t have enough female talent to fill the amount of technical roles available. Universities report similar gender imbalance issues within their computer science courses. It’s clear this isn’t a problem that can be solved quickly.
So what can we do as an industry to help support the future of women in tech?
Recently we took part in the MIT Shadow Tech Day. This is a program that matches high school girls with industry mentors to help them build toward a career in technology. Not only does it encourage young girls to learn more about tech, it also gives women in tech the chance to be mentors and pass along their skills and knowledge.
The girls that joined us, between the ages of 14 and 15, are all in digital technology classes at school. They’re learning things from designing websites in HTML and CSS, to using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, to learning basic programming languages.
These students were excited about technology and we wanted to fuel that passion. The day included hands-on coding challenges, an introduction to agile fundamentals and the chance to meet various women in our product and platform teams.
Our Xeros couldn’t wait to share their knowledge and the students were thrilled to get their hands dirty at a real tech company. Xero takes any opportunity to introduce technology to the next generation and create a more diverse workforce. We know gender is just one piece to this puzzle.
It’s great to see a wave of initiatives happening to introduce students to the industry and many companies are jumping on-board to help pave the way. In most cases it’s just about giving some of your time to be there and inspire. Some of these students just need a mentor to help them keep their passion and see opportunities in tech as a viable career option to strive for. If you know someone interested in a career in technology, give them some encouragement. That may be all they need to get started.
What are you doing to help shape the future of tech?
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