5 months ago by Next Generation

Why Aren’t There More Women in Tech?


From education issues to gender misconceptions, we ask ‘Why aren’t there more women in tech?’ and explore the possible reasons.


Women are under-represented in the tech sector. Not only that, but they’re underpaid, often passed for promotions and faced with every day sexism. It’s no wonder women are more likely to leave the industry within a year compared to their male counterparts.



To dissect the problem, we need to look at early development. At the high school, girls achieve better grades than boys. Yet for females who do pursue computer science at university level, they find themselves being outnumbered by males “ 82% versus 17% “ one of the highest gender disparities in course subjects. And this imbalance isn’t helped by the falling trend of females taking up science, maths and computing courses. A possible reason for why more girls don’t pursue maths and science related degrees is due to the ‘pinkification’ of girls in early age. Toys, clothes and job possibilities are still marketed towards either gender, despite recent developments in breaking this historic trend.


This lack of women taking up tech-related degrees translates into the workforce, where at many tech companies, males form the overwhelming majority. This leads to women experiencing sexism and feeling like they don’t belong. According to a survey by The Guardian, 73% of workers in the tech industry believe the industry is sexist. With news stories of sexism rife in the industry, it’s clear there is a work culture problem of ‘brogrammers’ that needs addressing.

With more women leaving the industry, it makes having role models at the top increasingly difficult. This further adds to the image of a male-dominated tech world and adds to the cycle of female discouragement. As Linda Davis, CEO of Next Generation Recruitment points out, Having key women in senior leadership roles will positively encourage other females to join an organization that is supportive of advancing women’s careers, thus increasing overall company growth and productivity.

But besides sexism, role models and stereotypes, the industry makes it difficult to combine having a tech career with motherhood. In a recent study reported in Fortune, 85% of 716 women surveyed who have left the tech industry cite maternity leave policy as a major factor in their decision to leave. Tech employers who aren’t supportive of their female staff and don’t offer flexibility in working can only further discourage females from joining up.

This all has real-world consequences for the future of society and technology. How can devices and programs be built for everyone, if not everyone is involved in its production? Women make up half the world, so it’s only logical they make up half the workforce.

It’s time we focus on the next generation of tech talent and make sure gender equality exists for the good of everyone. This means more flexible working arrangements, more women in leadership roles and more encouragement at an early age for girls and boys to pursue whatever they are naturally interested in.

It’s an uphill battle, but the world needs it.

Baral, S. (2014). International Women’s Day Quotes: 37 powerful sayings about gender equality. idigitaltimes.com
Brush, C. (2014). Women entrepreneurs 2014: bridging the gender gap in venture capital. babson.edu
Catalyst. (2007). The bottom line: corporate performance and women’s representation on boards. catalyst.org
Campaign for Science and Engineering. (2014). Improving diversity in STEM. sciencecampaign.org.uk
Company Director Check. (2015). Elaine Coughlan. companydirectorcheck.com
Crook, J. (2014). Google invests $40 million in “Made With Code” program to get girls excited about CS. techcrunch.com
Enterprise Ireland. (2015). Elaine Coughlan. enterprise-ireland.com
Faller, G. & Holden, L. (2015). The hard Stem sell. irishtimes.com
Forbes. (2015). Cher Wang. forbes.com
Forbes. (2015). Ginni Rometty. forbes.com
Forbes. (2015). Lubna S. Olayan. forbes.com
Friedlander, R. (2014). Meet the Martha Stewart of Silicon Valley. elle.com
Gibbs, S. (2014). Women in technology: no progress on inequality for 10 years. theguardian.com
Hewlett, S. A. (2014). What’s holding women back in science and technology industries. hbr.org
Inside Government. (2015). Women in STEM. insidegovernment.co.uk
Higher Education Authority. (2015). Undergraduate enrolments. hea.ie
Hunt, G. (2015). ‘I Wish’ initiative created for STEM sell to female students in Cork. siliconrepublic.com
Intel. (2015). Intel CES 2015 keynote with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. intel.com
Internet Advertising Bureau UK. (2014). More women now play video games than men. iabuk.net
Irving, B. (2014). GoDaddy CEO: why women are so turned off by the tech industry. fortune.com
Kelly, S. M. (2012). Stereotype debunked: women buy more technology than men. mashable.com
McCandless, D. (2014). Diversity in tech: gender breakdown of key companies. theguardian.com
OECD. (2015). Early gender gaps drive career choices and employment opportunities says OECD. oecd.org
Parkinson, H. J. (2014). Women ‘belittled, underappreciated and underpaid’ in the tech industry. theguardian.com
Patel, S. (2014). Don’t expect women to head a Wall Street bank any time soon, critics say. blogs.marketwatch.com
Pao, E. (2015). “To support the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, we need to show leadership today.” twitter.com
PwC. (2014). The opportunity now: Project 28-40. pwc.blogs.com
Rivera, L. A. (2012). Hiring as a cultural matching: the case of elite professional service firms. asanet.org
Reuters. (2015). B2W Companhia Digital. reuters.com
Science Council. (2015). STEM skills in high demand but a shortage of qualified technicians ‘stubbornly high’ says CBI. sciencecouncil.org
Shields, J. (2015). Biography. joannashields.com
Teeman, T. (2013). Why million love Elise Andrew’s science page. theguardian.com
Who’s Who. (2015). Naledi Pandor. whoswho.co.za
Williams, J. C. (2014). Hacking tech’s diversity problem. hbr.org
WISE. (2015). About us. wisecampaign.org.uk