Since 1994, the number of women in computer science jobs has dropped from 37% to 24%. The news is no better: Googling “women in tech” results in thousands of hits describing the experiences of women as they bear a culture of hostility and intimidation.
But there’s hope yet: a striking 81% of girls exposed to coding in summer camp report interest in studying computers in college.
Small changes – underpinned by larger social movements – can have an incredible effect on the lives of girls and women seeking to expand their professional horizons. Putting programs in place to rebrand tech’s stereotypically male image has a huge impact on the number of girls enrolling in tech-related post-secondary degrees.
Case in point: events like last weekend’s “Hacking for Humanity” Hackathon, hosted by Girls in Tech and sponsored by Proven Recruiting, offer women the chance to flex their tech skills in an encouraging and non-judgmental environment. Following the Hackathon, Proven Recruiting laid out a concrete interview-success plan in order to improve women’s chances of successfully breaking into the notoriously exclusive tech industry.
Not only do events like these give under-represented groups the opportunity to join the tech community, but the content of the Hackathon itself is diversity-driven. Participants were asked to design an app or website that would in some way address hate crimes, either through prevention, support, or reporting.
Despite extreme time constraints, participants developed creative, intuitive, and empathetic solutions to these sensitive issues. The success of this event alone makes one thing clear: the passion and perspective that women bring to tech is invaluable.
Assuming the current rate of growth holds true, 1.4 million computer specialist jobs are projected for 2020, with universities only churning out a fraction of that number of specialized professionals. The solution is clear: consider all the women and allies devoting themselves to tech at last weekend’s Hackathon. With continued support, programs like Girls in Tech will help close the knowledge gap and set women up for successful careers in a multitude of tech-related fields.
Proven Recruiting is proud to support an increasingly diverse and inclusive workforce through a variety of events and sponsorships. Over the next few months, we’ll be adding new dates for our D&I Leadership Breakfast series and publishing a variety of D&I-driven articles. We’ll be posting updates regularly, so check back here or sign up for our mailing list: http://eepurl.com/cXz9jf