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.
Brilliant, lustrous fireworks along the Mississippi. Barbecues in the lazy warmth of summer. Water sports, hiking excursions, and (for better or worse) family road trips. As we continue basking in the fun of the three warmest months of the year, we’re once again reflecting on why we love the Twin Cities. And, as an IT consulting and staffing firm, we’d be remiss not to give special attention to our number one reason: The Twin Cities rank among the best in the U.S. for tech opportunities. From its growing number of available tech jobs, to its recent acclaim as a hot spot for tech startups and companies, the Twin Cities offer IT opportunities like those in the Silicon Valley, plus higher collaboration and a lower cost of living. Though Minnesota has graced the tops of multiple “best” lists for various reasons, we’ve pulled out the top 4 reasons Twin Cities IT pros should celebrate where they work:
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.
It’s no secret that IT is experiencing a shortage of talented professionals for hire. Partially to blame is the fact that up until lately, the majority of the female half of the population wasn’t even considering an IT profession. But now, in this traditionally male-driven industry where the vast majority of funded tech start-ups are run by men, women are finally making their mark.
In Minnesota, women are working together to start their own IT businesses and help each other succeed. The Minnesota High Tech Association, (MHTA), recently started a new program to support women driving, leading and enabling business through technology called Women Leading in Technology, (WLiT). WLiT offers women the opportunity to network with others in the industry and provides learning opportunities for future growth. The CEO of the MHTA, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, is a participant in the group and will partake in the upcoming September 12th WLiT Roundtable event, helping women diversify their connections and learn more about the industry.