One of Malta’s leading top AI academics has long since advocated for more women in tech and in keeping with today’s theme of Girls in ICT Day, Alexei Dingli has given his views on what more women in the industry could bring.
Less female ICT specialists than the 80s
In a blog post on The Shadow, the stats that Alexei shares are pretty damning. Women only make up around 25% of the tech industry and are up to 45% more likely to quit within a year. Why? General lack of support and limited opportunities of moving up the ladder are two pertinent factors.
In that “general lack of support category” is the black mark of lower pay for women, despite doing the same job as their male counterparts. The total number of female ICT specialists is lower today than it was in the 80s. However, explains Alexei, this must change.
Essential for the industry
“If you were to ask me what is that one thing that women bring to the sector, my reply would definitely be completeness”, Alexei writes. Despite all the effort male software engineers can ever put toward creating a good product, “they will never cover all the aspects that a diverse group brings to the table. It is simply impossible.”
The key word here is diversity. In a study conducted about why diversity matters, “diverse companies hire better talent, retain workers, engage employees who perform better, and eventually get the company to earn more.”
The point being made is that by overlooking women, you’re halving the chances of finding the right talent for your organisation. Is that a risk worth taking, when competition is no longer just the outlet down the road, but a rival from across oceans and continents?
A different perspective
Simply put, women can offer different perspectives, ideas and considerations, especially in terms of problem-solving and analytical methodologies. And this is exactly why the tech industry is in dire need of deep soul searching.
The wake-up call must be sounded louder and the problems no longer ignored, otherwise, we’ll continue losing out as we’ve been doing for too long. The barriers of entry and improvement within the industry must be torn down if a better world is to truly be built!