Does the wage gap mean that women get to leave work 24% earlier than men?
Over a lifetime, women earn £300,000 less than the average man according to the Office of National Statistics and this is most prevalent in the technology industry. The quiet truth is that the gender gap between men and women taking computer related courses at University has changed dramatically, and in the most surprising way. In the last 20 years the amount of women studying Computer science at Bachelor degree level has dropped by 40% leaving only 18% in full time Computer Science courses. One can only assume that in the past women took these courses in hopes of achieving a secretarial role upon graduation, but in the progression towards true equality, women are now aiming for much more than secretarial work. Those acronym-named roles that men covet and have held in the industry since industry actually began, are gradually being filled with women, and yet the ladies are still earning 24% less than a man doing the same job.
Apple’s Tim Cook stated “As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page” when studies showed that Apple lacked gender diversity. Mr Cook, as a woman, I am also not satisfied with the numbers on your company’s page.
It’s not all bad though. Senior Vice President of Google, Diane Greene, and Julia Hartz, Co-founder of Eventbrite are examples of women who are absolutely smashing the boundaries of gender in the technology industry. These people are the modern day suffragettes in a new technology filled age, and International Women’s day is a celebration of breaking the boundaries that we’ve never lived a life without. The conversation is happening, but it’s barely begun. Come on, in an age where there’s a chance that Donald Trump could be the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, is it really that hard to make some changes for gender equality?
The glass ceiling for women in the tech industry is there to be smashed, and the only way of doing this is for the government, the industry, employers and women to amend the mistakes that have come from years of oppression. Be a part of the conversation. Turn up the volume on that conversation, and let’s scream about how awesome the tech industry could be if women had an equal footing.
As Oscar Wilde once said “Women have a much better time than men in this world; there are far more things forbidden to them.”