Who runs the world?
While that Beyonce line may be overquoted, did you know that women also run the internet (at least from a consumer perspective)? Women make a large proportion of online purchase decisions and are frequently the decision makers in both a B2B and B2C consumer environment.
This means the selling spheres should be a female-friendly space. Yet the vast majority of the internet is being created by male developers, who do not always intrinsically understand how to create the ideal online environment for women.
So why aren’t they building it?
A 2017 survey carried out by PwC showed that less than 3% of women have expressed an interest in a tech career as their first choice. It’s no surprise then, that less than 29% of tech jobs are held by women. It will come as no surprise that across the tech industry, not just in high-level roles, women are grossly underrepresented.
Overwhelmingly, girls report feeling that the tech industry is not for them, either never pursuing an interest or dropping out after finding themselves one of few females in their classes. A host of initiatives, including Girls Who Code and Women Who Code have dedicated time and resources to counteracting this ratio and move towards a world where women are proportionally represented.
What can we do?
The education system takes a huge amount of flak for misrepresenting the tech sphere and providing ‘poor career advice’ to girls. Indeed, getting girls engaged early and encouraging them to pursue an interest in tech is vital. But the tech industry must also take responsibility for how we nurture and treat the next generation of developers. We should be providing role models, showcasing our brightest female talents and ensuring that women feel they have a strong place in the industry.
If we want to build the most diverse, creative and accessible web pages, then we have to create space for those ideas to be aired. We NEED a diverse team of creatives and developers to navigate the art of web science and ensure that we are constantly advancing our abilities.