As we approach Mother’s Day, we’re once again reflecting on the reasons why women and technology are a perfect match. In 2013, we proclaimed that working moms love IT—and the statement remains true today. Studies detail the measurable impact women can have on tech teams and the desirable benefits tech careers offer women, but there remains a deficit of female techies in the workplace. How can such a disparity exist? Despite the innovative nature of the tech industry and technology careers in general, women in tech positions—as in other fields—still face gender biases.
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook, Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer, and IBM’s president and chief executive Virginia Rometty prove that while the representation of women in tech is disproportionate, it certainly still has a presence and success rate to boast of. The significance of three women at top tech companies may somewhat discredit the belief that a lack of women role models is the main reason for the female talent shortage, but that the gap exists and is in fact growing, can’t be ignored.
That a gender gap exists in tech is an undeniable fact, though not a new revelation. Groups such as Girls Who Code and Women Who Code have made efforts to draw awareness to this issue, sharing research proving the number of women graduating from college with computer science degrees has dropped from 37 percent in 1984 to 18 percent today, along with other startling findings.
But an underlying question, the big “so what?” remains largely unanswered. As a result, many in tech are left wondering whether the hot-button issue has received more hype than it is worth.