I thought that today I will cover a topic not directly related to coding, but resolved around women in technology. I decided to do that after finding a report, that analyzes women's situation in Polish IT market in 2016.
I decided to share general insights coming from this document and also to compare it with a prediction made by Deloitte for the year 2016.
Although Deloitte's document is claimed to be a prediction, the only prediction we get is that by the end of 2016, fewer than 25% IT jobs in developed countries will be held by women. Apart from that, Deloitte's report is a collection of valuable insights made in particular studies. The report has a rather pessimistic outcome - it states that the number of women attending educational institutions in the field related to IT decreased over the years, that women tend to earn less than men (79 cents for US based female web developer compared to the 1 dollar for a man in the same position) and that women are a lot less likely to be hired for a senior position, starting from the targeting of ads to the actual hiring process.
These are sad statistics that should be considered while designing steps to actually change this situation. But how do women perceive their situation? I believe that this is what the Polish report puts the emphasis on.
From this report, it results that almost 75% women recommend working in IT, so maybe it is not that bad for them after all?
Deloitte claims that one of the main reasons for a current situation of women in technology is the problem of education. It seems, however, that they do not take into account a possibility to work in IT without having an academic degree in this field. Responses in Polish report indicate that most of the women working in IT do not have a degree in IT related program. Women also believe that their interest in IT results from their own determination. This is an interesting insight, but the fact that there is an increasing number of people working in IT without a related degree may be a more general trend and it does not need to be restricted to women only.
The Polish report also confirms some of the remarks made by Deloitte's report, namely:
- women think that they earn less than men
- it is more difficult for women to make a career in IT
- 56% of women who responded to the survey confirmed that they experienced career difficulties resulting from their gender
So far, it seems that even if the women's personal thoughts about working in IT are less striking than claims in the Deloitte's report, they still resemble the general trend.
I've got one more conclusion that, surprisingly, is positive. Looking at the opinions made by experts in Polish IT business, it seems that women's influence in IT section is rising and that some of the statistics may seem depressing because it has not been long since women started becoming more attracted to programming and IT careers. Hopefully, it is the case. Unfortunately, we need to wait a couple of years to verify this thesis, but there is still a lot that can be done in the meantime.
As a person, who used to think that computing and programming are some kinds of a sorcery, I am very keen on encouraging others to give it a try and see how it goes. I think that there is an unnecessary mystery created around programming and the best way to overcome one's fear is just to try. This post may seem superficial, but I believe that this topic is really complex. I hope that even just reporting the current situation and some minor thoughts about it can encourage other people to think about this issue.
Let me know what you think!And here is another report related to the subject, in case you're interested :).