Statistics regarding women in technology brings to surface a highly concerning fact. There seems to be a very big gender gap prevailing in the world today. Whether we talk of entrepreneurs starting new businesses, investors or employees connected with computing and technical roles, women find the rooms filled more with men in each of these categories.
We find the companies headed by women perform three times better than those that are led by their male counterparts. Here is an overview of the gender gap that prevails in the tech sector today.
Some concerning facts regarding the gender gap in the tech sector
- In more than 63 percent of the cases, women are often found to be paid much lesser than men for the same job positions in the same firms.
- In the technology sector, women under the age of 25 warning about 29 percent lesser in an average than their male colleagues.
- Today, women are found to own not more than 5 percent of the tech startups.
- Looking at the top 100 venture capital companies, only 7 percent of the partners are women.
- In the Silicon Valley businesses, women are found holding only about 11 percent of the executive roles.
Shimmering rays of hope
Despite these shocking statistics, we find women like Jia Hertz and Pamela Elizabeth working vigorously and enthusiastically to grow the number of female entrepreneurs around the world. They find several ways to inspire women to start their own companies as they did. Also, billionaire investor Mark Cuban is seen at work venturing to close the gender gap in the entrepreneurial domain. Such efforts are seen geared towards making Silicon Valley a more inviting place for women.
Photo via: https://winstemplymouth.org/susan-kare/
At PARC, Susan Kare, the graphic designer worked on the GUI championed by Adele Goldberg’s team. During the process, she could evolve some incredible graphics that turned out to be Apple’s signature accomplishments. Under the directives of Steve Jobs, she evolved a sleeker font for Apple. This could give every letter a particular number of pixels without sticking on to make each of the uniform in the space they physically required as found in the case of a typewriter.
Kare had an idea that graphics must be a kind of easily readable symbols that can have a conspicuous relation to the real world objects. Inspired by a Swedish symbol representing a castle, Kare also developed the ‘command’ Key of Apple. The several amazing innovations like the Apple Clock, the trash can, the pointer finger and many more were invented by Kare.
Elizabeth Jake Feinler was there before GoDaddy was there
The ARPAnet was composed of a series of nodes before the times when it came to be called as the internet. It was under the care of the Department of Defense which coordinated between several research institutions. Affected through the “Network Information Center” (NIC), The Stanford Research Institute was functioning as the “node” that administered the whole directory of the inexperienced internet. During those times, Elizabeth (Jocelyn) Feinler was heading the NIC. She was popularly known by her nickname Jake. (Stories tell us that Feinler’s younger sister spelled her name as “Betty Jo” which had a sound similar to “Baby Jake” which was the reason why she got ‘Jake’ as her nickname.
In the background, Feinler ensemble was actually the human Google which was characterized by the organizational white and yellow pages we found on all the domains of the internet. Whenever someone had to retrieve an address or get a new one registered, they had to ask Jake. In course of time, Feinler helped in the SRI transition that moved forward to become Domain Name System (DNS). Jake was the mastermind behind inventing the domain naming protocol. So, if we find the dot-coms, dot govs and dot-nets around us today, we must thank Jake for the stunning innovation and efforts behind.
Karen Sparck Jones made it possible for men to Google for something
Karen Sparck Jones, the female computer scientist was the mastermind behind the natural language processing capabilities of the modern search engines we use day and night today. It was Margaret Masterman, a computer linguist and a female professor who recruited Jones to the Cambridge.
The phenomenal work of Jones resulted as the foundation for all kinds of information retrieval we are relying on today. She implemented the usage of thesauri into the language processing process. This made it possible for computers to recognize similar words. She also championed a novel idea of what is known as “term weighing” during information retrieval which helped the queries decide on the most relevant terms.
We find that there is a dire need to bring about a significant change in the culture of the workplace to address the historical gender equalities in a more effective way. Efforts must be spared at all levels to see that workplaces turn more inclusive and women are given the necessary support, resources, and encouragement to give their best in every field. Only comprehensive and conscious efforts geared towards addressing the gender gap at all levels can help remedy this situation.