Google is recently caught under fire over allegations of gender pay discrimination. An employee-led probe at the tech giant alleges that female employees are still compensated less than their male counterparts, at most job levels. As a matter of fact, three ex-Google employees have filed a class-action lawsuit for such discrimination.
Bridging the gender gap in technology has been one of the main narratives in the call for equality for quite a number of years now. Advocating for the development of the skills and careers of women in tech creates a larger workforce, which ultimately improves innovation and business performance. It is to be acknowledged that we have seen some wins for women in the tech world, with more and more female leaders in the field. Unfortunately, it cannot be denied that there are still plenty of areas to work on.
One way to support women in their efforts to become authoritative figures in the tech stratosphere, no matter where they are in their careers, is to provide them with helpful resources that could somehow help level the playing field. Here are some of them:
Books, Websites and Podcasts
There is a wealth of informative and inspirational materials available today from proponents of women’s success, not only in tech, but in various professional fields. Among the most helpful according to female thought leaders are Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories by Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack, Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology by Ellen Ullman and Female Innovators at Work: Women on Top of Tech by Danielle Newnham for books; TechMamas.com, WomeninTechnology.org and WomenWhoTech.com for websites; and Women in Tech Show by Espree Devora, The Broad Experience and Code Newbie for podcasts.
In addition to these materials, there are plenty of other forms of content shared by female thought leaders in the tech field. Be sure to also check out e-books and whitepapers!
There are several Meetups all over the country, which provide gathering opportunities for people with shared interests. In the age of digital connections, Meetups bring the actual human interaction back into socializing and networking. Meetups like Women Investors, Startup Leaders, and Entrepreneurs (WISE), Women in Tech NJ & NY and Women Who Code SF are are organized to set up a stage for women in the tech industry to build connections, grow their networks and ultimately empower each other.
There are several non-profit organizations dedicated in supporting women to pursue AND excel in technology careers. Women Who Code, Girls Who Code and I Look Like an Engineer are only some of these organizations that are committed to tackling the gender gap in the IT field.
Career experts are divided when it comes to the effectiveness of mentorship on women: some say it is beneficial while some claim it doesn’t really help women become as impactful as they hope to be. The fact is, these mentorship programs serve as great peer advisory groups, especially when sources for great advice are somewhat hard to find. Perhaps, it’s a case-to-case basis. Success from mentorship programs could be dependent on the potency of a mentor; yet, as in any learning process, much of a mentor’s potency also depends on the mentee. As these experts continue to prove their cases on either side of the aisle, it would be best to not throw out a blanket statement on whether or not mentorships are, indeed, helpful.
There’s no better way to even the playing field and eliminate gender bias in the tech workforce than today’s job hunting tools. The advancements of artificial intelligence technology have allowed online staffing platforms the ability to shortlist tech candidates by matching their competencies to that of the company’s required and desired qualifications. Beyond keywords, and other tips and tricks that women in the tech industry have implemented to look for new opportunities, cognitive algorithms deeply analyze their resumes and present them with only the relevant open positions in the IT field. Essentially, these tech mavens only need to possess the skills and experience that the job requires, and the AI-powered system will do the job hunting for them.
Free Online Learning Courses
Without discrediting the advantages of post-secondary education, some tech positions actually don’t require them. As a matter of fact, many hiring companies state in their job requisitions a bachelor’s degree only as a desired, but not a minimum qualification to fill certain of their tech roles. Nevertheless, there are education-focused companies that offer comprehensive courses on specific fields of study, including those of tech. Companies like Coursera, Udemy and Udacity offer free courses and ‘nanodegrees’ in Web Development, Software Engineering and more.
About the Author: Suresh Parakoti is the Founder and CEO of glasssquid.io, an online contingent staffing firm that leverages artificial intelligence to connect IT professionals with companies and hiring managers. Suresh has over 20 years of experience in technology and staffing, and is currently building out the next generation of procurement models by utilizing AI technology and machine learning.