IT professionals have known for a while that they were highly sought after. It is no surprise that the world loves technology. This has led to a desire to ensure that these devices, and systems, work consistently and continuously. It was therefore not surprising that the U.S. Census Bureau found that IT jobs have increased exponentially in the past few decades.
According to the American Community Survey, there are approximately 4.6 million people working in IT. This is a vast increase on the 450,000 workers that were found in the 1970 survey. It also shows how fast this industry has grown. This report was however, not disconcerting.
IT is a vastly underrepresented field. This is not a surprise, as many people who work in the field know this for years. This gender gap is evident in concrete evidence.
The numbers prove that there is a bias
“Female participation in IT has actually decreased in recent years.”
According to a Census Bureau survey, female participation in IT has declined over the past few years. Despite the fact that the IT workforce was 31% female in 1990, it dropped to 25% in 2014. This is contrary to overall female participation. The survey found that the total number of women working in all areas went from 38 percent to 47 percent in 1970 to 47% in 2014. This means that while there are more women working, fewer women are choosing to enter IT.
The report doesn’t identify a reason, but it does suggest that women aren’t valued as highly by their male counterparts. The median earning for male IT workers was $82,370, according to the survey. The median earnings for IT workers in the male gender was $82,370. Women earned $72,035. These findings prove that the gender pay gap is not due to women choosing less lucrative roles than men.
Many are trying to change this situation.
These statistics are indeed disheartening. However, many people in the industry are trying to change these trends. Girls Who Cod is one organization that is working to reverse this trend. This organization is dedicated to advancing the female role of technology by encouraging programming. Girls Who Code offers a summer immersion program that helps girls in 10th and 11th grades discover the magic of programming. This is a great age because these girls will soon be attending college to pursue their future careers. Knowledge can bridge the gender gap
Making technology cool for young women is a great way of increasing their participation in the IT workforce. However, education is key to closing the gender gap. Employers will see the value in hiring for talent and not gender. The pay disparity in this industry will hopefully diminish or disappear as more women become skilled in technology. It will take time and hard work to see if this discriminatory practice will disappear from this sector.