Women’s History Month is an important cornerstone in our society, as it embraces the positive contributions women all over the world have made and continue to make throughout history. However, although we have institutions like this in place, the fight for a more inclusive and diverse society is not over, especially with regard to women in technology.
As a global company with office locations in the U.S. and Latin America, we recognize the importance of tackling gender injustices that still affect us. For example, the average woman in America makes 78 cents for every dollar a man makes. Similarly, women represent 45.4% of the workforce in Uruguay, where our main office is based. Women are steadily increasing in the global workforce but there are industries that haven’t made enough of an effort to establish a more well-rounded workplace environment.
The tech industry is one such industry which historically hasn’t been very progressive in terms of gender equality and we see much disparity that still continues to dominate the field today. A 2016 U.S. study showed that female employees in America made up less than one-fifth of the technology industry. What more? Women were also reported as having been paid only 79% of the median value of what their male counterparts had been compensated. Studies also show that in Latin America, gender stereotypes continue to stigmatize women joining the tech force.
Although we see these trends occurring in the workforce, perhaps the root of these issues begin with the educational systems within our nations. Many young women in universities decide against studying a field within technology. Take for example how in America, only 18% of Computer Science college graduates are women. Furthermore, Latin American culture perpetuates the belief that careers in technology are more male-oriented, which is why women in Latin America decide not to study technology fields in college.
These statistics are clear indications that it’s now more important than ever that we stay laser-focused on our goal to achieve universal gender equality and to never let our efforts waver in the process. Amidst these obstacles, more organizations and movements are formed every day to generate equal rights for women.
Girls in Tech is a global non-profit that was formed to engage, educate and empower women to study and pursue careers in technology. Girls Who Code is another organization with the mission of closing the gender gap for women in technology and encouraging and fostering their involvement in the industry. Forming groups like these and integrating curriculums in schools early on will instill a more solid foundation for women to spark an interest and ultimately build a career in technology.
At Oktana, we seek out the brightest minds and the most innovative spirits to join our team, creating a family of outstanding dreamers regardless of gender. This is also why we choose to partner with others that share our same measure of ethical standards. Salesforce is a great example that holds true to the values we represent by also recognizing women as equals in their workforce.
To place our stamp on the women in technology movement, we’re hosting an open house event in our Uruguay office for women in universities to see first hand what it’s like to work for a technology company. The goal of this event is to showcase the talented and passionate women in our company as well as present the possibilities and advantages that come along with pursuing a career in our field.
We need to persevere and continue to break down the perpetuating barriers of gender stereotyping. This is why our company promotes values of self-expression, individuality, and inclusiveness – making our Oktana team members ambassadors for gender equality. We still have a long way to go but as long as we keep our morals intact, we’re confident that we’ll build a brighter future that encompasses unity, collaboration, and ethicality. Today, we celebrate Women’s History Month to commemorate the journey on which women have fought for justice and to support the onward path for women to make their mark, especially women in technology.