Women In Tech, the rise of a new generation

Women In Tech, the rise of a new generation

According to a World Economic Forum report, only 23% tech workers are female

Let’s start with the numbers. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there is still a significant gender gap in tech professionals, especially AI experts. According to a World Economic Forum report, only 23% are female, resulting in a gender gap of 70% that has yet to be closed. 8th March marks International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. That makes it the ideal occasion to remember that there are few women in tech and to underline that this is not a women’s issue but a global one. There are many reasons why the percentage of tech sector roles occupied by women is far less than their male counterparts. Factors include the lack of girls’ education and gender discrimination. Aside from pay gaps, there is a large gap in terms of how many female IT professionals are hired by tech companies: women make up less than 20 percent of US tech jobs and 15% in the UK. And things are no better if we analyse the startup sector. Fortune found (https://bit.ly/2FyFOhX) “that only 2.7% of venture-capital funded tech startups are run by female CEOs”. In Italy, according to government data. women are in the majority only in 13% of startups.

Good news

But all is not lost. Plenty of associations, companies and universities are working to change things. ‘Inspiring 50’ is one of them. “If she can see it, she can be it” Janneke Niessen, co-founder of Inspiring Fifty, always says. A movement to help acknowledge those who have pushed the boundaries of the industry and are helping to strengthen workforces by creating more inclusive environments. In order to do that, every year the association selects and rewards 50 exceptional women for their work in the tech and science industry. It is a way of offering different role models to young girls. Last year 50 Italian professionals were selected: researchers, lawyers, engineers, startuppers and scientists such as Marilù Capparelli, managing director of Google’s Legal Department in the EMEA area, and Viviana Acquaviva, an astrophysicist who is currently an associate professor in the Physics Department at the CUNY NYC College of Technology. Also, Valeria Cagnina, born in 2001 and co-founder and mentor of Robotics School, and Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. The message is clear: we need to talk more about women in tech in order to change the culture of an entire industry and push more girls to study STEM, which means science, technology, engineering and maths. In other words: to raise a new generation of women who are madly in love with technology. As a forward-thinking and innovative sector, it is in fact important for the tech industry to continue creating opportunities where women not only enter the industry, but break the gender ‘norms’ to lead. At long last.

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