At the end of 2017, estimates show that women held less than 25% of the IT positions in developed countries. Perhaps even more troubling, there have been significant numbers of women leaving jobs in the IT industry. Clearly, IT is a field in which the gender gap remains a real issue, but fortunately, there are many different ways that members of the tech industry can help promote a more balanced ratio of men and women in the field.
Luckily, many IT companies and schools have been striving to address exactly these kinds of issues to resolve inequalities and improve the retention rates for female employees. One method that has helped draw women into the IT industry is implementing positive changes in the workplace culture with strong, clear codes of conduct that foster healthy dialogue and hold community members responsible for contributing to a positive and respectful setting. Changing the workplace environment can significantly improve the culture of an IT workspace or classroom. Meanwhile, many established women in IT, such as Leia Shilobod, the president of InTech Solutions, Inc., have pointed out that one key to encouraging other women to pursue careers in IT is to have more female role models in the first place who provide visible examples of women in tech.
Although there is still a lot of progress to be made when it comes to reducing and eliminating the gender gap in IT, there have also been strides over the years. The process of promoting women in IT is a cyclical one: getting younger female students engaged in tech programs can make young women more likely to pursue coursework and job positions in the IT industry. The more accessible IT job applications are, the easier it will be for companies to recruit women, and the more women are recruited, the more female role models there will be for younger women. The more that workplace cultures work to promote a respectful and safe workplace environment, the more likely it is that women in the IT field will retain their positions.
Promoting a more balanced ratio between women and men in the IT field is not an overnight process, but even small steps can make a big difference when it comes to helping to encourage more women to enter and stay in IT. Every step taken is a step towards equality.
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