Women an endangered species in tech sector
Women are still an endangered species in the tech sector – but things could be starting to change.
On June 20, the Girls Hack Ireland Hackathon takes place in Dublin as part of the Inspire Fest 2015.
The event aims to introduce girls to female mentors working in science, engineering, technology and maths sectors and show them that tech can be fun.
Male-dominated digital economy
But the digital economy is still very male-dominated.
The figures are stark.
Nearly twice as many Irish women qualified with degrees in computer science in the 1980s as they do now.
And the numbers of teenage girls choosing the so-called STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) continues to fall, from 47% ten years ago to 40% today.
Earlier this year, Professor Christine Loscher, an immunologist at Dublin City University, warned that the lack of women in STEM careers would spell disaster for innovation in Ireland.
Tech for women
So what can we do to encourage more women to enter the digital economy?
According to Forbes, here are five ways to help promote gender balance in the tech sector.
1. Push companies to publish data about gender diversity.
2. Provide female entrepreneurs with access to funding models that reduce gender bias.
3. Improve job descriptions. The way they are written can have a big impact on who applies. For instance, women tend to see listed criteria as essential while men are more likely to view them as optional extras.
4. Standardise performance reviews to omit personality traits. Women are more likely than men to receive negative comments about their personalities.
5. Increase mentorship opportunities, such as the Girls Hack Ireland Hackathon.
Do you have any other ideas?