As women come into focus for on International Women’s Day, challenges abound for women in tech, the highest one being their representation in STEM. Statistics from a December 2022 report reveal that women hold only 26.7% of technology-related jobs. The next challenge is the gender based pay gap in tech. In software engineering, women make 0.93 cents for every dollar that men make.
In addition, the percentage of women pursuing STEM subjects in higher education is on the decline, according to the report, with women achieving only 18% of new computer sciences degrees. According to World Bank data, women make up about 43% of the total graduates in STEM in India, which is one of the highest in the world, but just 14% of scientists, engineers, and technologists in research development institutions and universities.
Also, over 50% of women in tech report challenges like gender inequality, discrimination or sexual harassment. And the boardrooms are still lacking women leadership. According to Deloitte the global average board seats held by women is just under 20% (19.7%) of, which India’s percentage is 17.1%.
According to a recent survey by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), only 13% of web3 startups have at least one woman on their team. Moreover, all male founding teams raise four times as much funding, on average, as all female founding teams.
The Tech Panda asked how women in tech are faring and the challenges that still plague the tech world when it comes to gender.
Kaavya Prasad, Founder, Lumos Labs
“Our advice to women who are already in web3 or those who want to explore this space would be to go for it and not give up as exploring this new industry might be intimidating. Web3 is based on the principles of decentralization and openness, hence, there would always be an abundance of like minded folks to network, learn, and collaborate with. Furthermore, there are a number of women focused web3 platforms that are ready and well equipped to help women navigate the space better along with providing learning and upskilling opportunities to them.
“There are a number of challenges that women still face in the web3 ecosystem, most prominently that of underrepresentation. These figures are the latest testament to the glaring gender gap that is often observed in tech-driven industries.
There are a number of challenges that women still face in the web3 ecosystem, most prominently that of underrepresentation
“Additionally, we at Lumos Labs are gearing up for our developer centric Lumos Metaverse launch very soon and would love to welcome more women into our virtual world where they can learn, earn, upskill, get hired, network, collaborate, and stay updated with all things web3.”
Deeksha Ahuja, Founder, Encubay
Be seen be heard, women should actively network and use online platforms for better visibility
“The largest challenge women face is lack of access to a good quality network of mentors, investors and corporates which is why they don’t have a level playing field. However, today there are so many networks and communities that help women access the right people required for scaling up or accessing capital. Be seen be heard, women should actively network and use online platforms for better visibility.”
Sujata Pawar, Co-founder & CEO, Avni
“The challenges women face are- pressure to stick to traditional gender roles, not being taken seriously in matters of finances, poor funding prospects, and lack of social skills to connect and network with people which stems from upbringing.
Stay true to solving the problem you are facing. Be a little shameless and write that text message, make the right call, and write that email or message on LinkedIn to approach someone who can help you
“My advice will be to stay true to solving the problem you are facing. Be a little shameless and write that text message, make the right call, and write that email or message on LinkedIn to approach someone who can help you. Contrary to popular belief, most people respond positively to your requests. It is just about taking the initiative to ask.”
Ritika Amit Kumar, Co-founder & CEO, STEM Metaverse
“One of the challenges women face today is bias. People hardly expect anything out of you, though you have good ideas or you are very good at STEM. I believe that they have a clear mindset about us and we can violate these expectations by giving our best in every field. When it comes to a complete tech discussion we always face the bias, where they expect you to be good at arts but not science.
In today’s world, we see fewer women leaders because few women are ready to challenge themselves. The only reason for this is not because many don’t want to learn or grow, it’s because the idea of STEM has not been inculcated in them
“Especially when you are in a leadership position and you are in a room full of men you are seen differently. Their thoughts can only be changed if we start taking these things in a positive way and the number of women in this STEM world increases there will automatically be a decrease in their thoughts and biasedness.
“Even if you are worst at STEM-oriented subjects, still focus on them, and try challenging yourselves because somewhere or the other they try to shape your personality and overall growth. In today’s world, we see fewer women leaders because few women are ready to challenge themselves. The only reason for this is not because many don’t want to learn or grow, it’s because the idea of STEM has not been inculcated in them, and they are not curious. Try getting into a habit of accepting everything that comes your way and challenging yourself. One should not be averse to taking data-driven decisions. Focussing on oneself in terms of STEM is the best thing one could do.”
Vidhi Tuteja, Co-founder, ZFunds
“In the tech ecosystem, we still see that 85% of engineers are men. There are already less women in the engineering ecosystem and typically mid managers leave the career after starting their families. It is common for most engineers to be a part of a community where they learn together and help each other. These not only help engineers upskill but also get first hand referrals into desirable jobs, which most women miss out on.
There are already less women in the engineering ecosystem and typically mid managers leave the career after starting their families
“My advice to young female engineers is to find mentors whose careers they admire and not be afraid to ask for help whenever required; be it returning to jobs after a break or seeking out a promotion. They should also try and participate in hackathons and meet ups to keep in touch with fellow engineers and find a community they are comfortable in.”