Celebrating International Women’s Day is a momentous day for women. This year’s theme for IWD is: break the bias. Today highlights the massive contributions women have made in society, this article talks particularly about biases within the tech sector.
Today is a day worth celebrating however, today shouldn’t be the only day where we raise awareness and provide action towards “breaking the bias”. It shouldn’t be limited to an annual event. Consistent action is required. There’s a reason why one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is “Gender Equality”. Women have historically faced more barriers than men whether it’s interviewing for a job, their salary, or opportunities for promotion. Women who are also part of marginalized groups can cause suffer through further prejudice and even higher barriers.
Large global technology firms are predicted to reach 33% of overall female representation in the workforce by this year which works out to be 2% higher than 2019 (Deloitte, 2021). The fact progress is being made is encouraging but not enough.
We need to demand more from businesses to support and advocate equal opportunities. Whether you’re a start-up or large multi-national corporation – work needs to be done.
How you can contribute to breaking the bias at work:
Build a culture of transparency – company culture is created by the people within an organisation therefore it’s important to ensure it is open and information is shared widely, equally, and accessibly across horizontally and vertically within an enterprise.
Be an ally – champion your female colleagues whether they’re in the room or not. People see through performative allies and can cause detriment to the business as well as your reputation. Use your voice genuinely to advocate and promote women to progress further in their careers into senior positions
Ensure equal development & investment in your female employees – At the end of the day, it’s about equal opportunities for all.
Educate yourself on the issue at hand – Read blog articles/books, join communities, reach out to your network and ask meaningful questions to understand the barriers and challenges women face compared to their male counterparts. (As a starter, if you like reading click here for a list of books on how you can understand gender inequality, and if you prefer video click here to understand how to reduce bias in your workplace).
Here are some resources for women in tech:
- Built In – An American online community for start-ups and tech companies that showcase a great list of resources for women in tech. (click here to find the resources)
- Class Central – Access free courses in a variety of subjects matters particularly the tech courses which are accredited by renowned institutions that include Stanford, University of Leeds, The London School of Economics, and more! (click here to look at the options)
- Ladies Get Paid – Benefit from a free membership to join a community of women that’s purpose is to help you excel in your career through financial advancement. There is a paid membership, should you wish to explore that option! (Click here to find out more).
- Women of Colour in Tech – A slack community for women of colour within the tech sector that’s aim is to foster a community of support. Allies are welcome too! (Click here to be a part of the community)
- The Alan Turing Institute – Is the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence. They provide a page with great resources for women wishing to code. (Click here to see the list)
To all women. Today we celebrate you. This year let’s really focus on breaking the bias so that it can no longer be a theme and we can leave it in the past.