The representation of women in the IT industry

The numbers

Women make up approximately 24% of the global “cyber security workforce” and the overall presence of women in digital in the past year or so is more promising, 33%. However, if we analyse this data in more detail, we will find that of this percentage, 75% of them are more involved in support roles such as administration, HR, marketing or comms.

The IT sector is in full bloom right now, and it is not rare to hear people in the industry talk about a “talent shortage” in this field, in which women are still underrepresented.

Our Squad experts have written this article to explain and give their view on the subject.

Source : ischool.syr.edu (2012)

Some historical facts: don’t believe everything they tell you

IT is not « a male industry”. Many brave, brilliant women have contributed to the tech industry and its applications. Just to cite a few of the most famous and influential women who have changed the tech world: Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Anita Borg and Hedy Lamarr.

At Squad, we firmly believe in and advocate for equality, so a lot of these women are true inspirations for us!

Ada Lovelace was the creator (in 1838) of the very first detailed algorithm, so pretty much the first ever computer program, that ran a machine which calculated the Bernoulli numbers.

As for Hedy Lamarr, those of you who are passionate about cinema may know her as the iconic actress from the Hollywood golden days, along with Marlene Dietrich. However, she was much more than an actress: she made a huge contribution to the tech world by inventing an early version of the frequency-hopping spread spectrum (in 1941), which is the technology that served as a foundation for wifi and Bluetooth.

Grace Hopper is the inventor and creator of one of the first linkers in 1951, as well as of the COBOL programming language in 1959.

As for Anita Borg, she is the founder of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC), an organisation that since its birth in 1994, rewards female talent in IT.

This is only a limited list of our role models but it could go on and on… It was just a demonstration of the fact that women have contributed significantly to the tech industry exactly like their male counterparts.

Women in Tech have come very far, but there is still a lot to do !

There have been many initiatives at a European and worldwide level to encourage more women to embrace IT professions. In 2019, the global digital market had a turnover rate of 333 billion USD, and a staggering amount of recruits worldwide, of which over half are working with full-time permanent contracts.

The IT industry is an El Dorado, which, now more than ever is opening up to women, but they are still far from that equal representation goal.

Reinforcing the female workforce in the digital world is one of the great challenges of our time, as well as a powerful and strategic economic tool. A McKinsey Global Institute report finds that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by making significant advances to women's equality in the workplace.

So, historical and economic evidence should be enough to prove that women not only already have but still have much more to contribute to the IT industry, even though there are still a lot of stereotypes to fight on a sociological level to achieve perfect equality.

At Squad Australia we are a committed equal rights employer and haver created this article to present our active engagement, to lay the foundations for our present and future actions for the equality cause and to give recognition to our female workforce.