Only 3% of women say a career in tech is their first choice

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StrawberryDreams
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Women are making an impact in technology, but the statistics are still shocking. According to the Women and Technology Study conducted for PwC in 2017, only 3% of women say a career in technology is their first choice, 78% of students can’t name a famous women working in technology, and only 5% of jobs in the technology industry are held by women.

Are you a women studying a STEM course? Do you want to go on and work in the tech industry? If not, what's putting you off?

It's International Women's Day on March 8th, and the theme is Each for Equal - encouraging conversations around gender equality. Why not get involved?
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DiddyDec
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It is fascinating how women not being in tech is "shocking" but men not being nurses doesn't carry any of these same negative connotations.

Name a famous male nurse.
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DoNotMove
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(Original post by StrawberryDreams)
Women are making an impact in technology, but the statistics are still shocking. According to the Women and Technology Study conducted for PwC in 2017, only 3% of women say a career in technology is their first choice, 78% of students can’t name a famous women working in technology, and only 5% of jobs in the technology industry are held by women.

Are you a women studying a STEM course? Do you want to go on and work in the tech industry? If not, what's putting you off?

It's International Women's Day on March 8th, and the theme is Each for Equal - encouraging conversations around gender equality. Why not get involved?
I study maths and computer science, and want to go onto work in data science or tech. At my sixth form (it's girls-only), I'm the only person who's taken Computer Science in the past 3 years as an A-Level. I'm not really sure why there are so few women at this level even, let alone degree level. Computer Science and IT industries could definitely do with more women to provide a larger range of perspectives and opinions on technological advances.

Often as well, the feats of women can be pushed aside, even if they are important. Until very recently, just before her death, I had never heard of Katherine Johnson, who calculated the trajectories for many NASA space trips. Someone so important in such an important area of technology should definitely had got more recognition in her lifetime.
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Bio 7
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It’s a shame that I can name Marie Curie and no other female jumps to my mind for scientific achievement. Perhaps there’s a great number of women that feel isolated from it and never take up those fields.
It’s a shame that people do feel a little like that when there is a class with one female in it and the rest male.

Things don’t change overnight but eventually more women may choose to do it and we can only encourage it. I’m sure there are many women that will accomplish great things and have their names recognised widely.
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eeiiiiio
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This is my opinion. Women are generally more timid and self doubting of their abilities. Also something I've observed:
women are not as obsessive as men. There are also less women geniuses - take a look at the bell curve for IQ - and in technology, many people are geniuses/very high IQ. There were some (yes, only a very few) boys at school who spent most of their time devoted to maths & were already very good at it, as such I'm sure they will succeed at a career in it. Maths (and by extension, engineering, physics...) is a hard subject - if you don't have this drive, you won't understand it. I have only met two girls who has had such a drive and natural affinity for maths, but still they didn't know as much as the boys who spent all their time on it. That said I do believe it's possible for anyone (almost) to be good at these subjects, if they become devoted to it - it just seems that males are more likely to be devoted and obsessive.
I chose not to go into maths because I didn't have the dedication. I am too lazy. I hope though that one day I will get some motivation for something useful; but then I wonder, what's the point when we all die in the end? Makes no difference how intelligent or knowledgeable you are, no one will remember you in 100 years.
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The RAR
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As if I give a ****, we got more female doctors than male doctors nowadays so I really fail to see any "discrimination" in STEM industry. Standards for any industry should not be dropped purely because you want to attract more of that gender, you don't want that industry to fall below its supposed quality.
But I am sure in 300 years time the number of female scientists will outnumber the name of male scientists so there really is no need to be alarmed.
Last edited by The RAR; 10 months ago
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ReadingMum
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I work in IT - have done for 31 years now. The year I was looking to apply to uni it was 'Women in Science & Engineering' year. I went to all sorts of interesting talks - but it seems that nothing has really changed. I lasted 1 term of an Engineering degree (it was very dull) before switching to Physical Sciences.
IT is a good career choice for women - homeworking is easy and allows flexibility if you want to take time out for a family.
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mnot
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(Original post by eeiiiiio)
what's the point when we all die in the end? Makes no difference how intelligent or knowledgeable you are, no one will remember you in 100 years.
Its a good thing Euler or Newton never said the same thing
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karelina
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I thought we've already accepted the hard truth of this - most women simply aren't that interested in technology. Women prefer the arts, media, teaching, and caring professions.
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eeiiiiio
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(Original post by mnot)
Its a good thing Euler or Newton never said the same thing
True, that's my point
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hxdzz_m
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Well I studied computer science at GCSE, did the worst out of all my other GCSE's (I got a 5).
Was the only the girl in the class,only about 3 doing it in the whole year group of about 4 classes.
I enjoyed the subject and everything, just didn't excel in it academically.
But at A-level I do two science based subjects so I guess that accounts for something?:dontknow:

Plus my sixth form didnt offer A level computer science as an a-level (which I wouldn't have been able to do anyway because of my grade)
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mnot
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(Original post by eeiiiiio)
True, that's my point
Is it?
I thought my point was pointing out the exact opposite of yours.
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Mirai609
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I am choosing to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering at uni and I must say it hasn't really been easy for me (or other girls) to pursue technical subjects, for various reasons.

One of my first experiences with STEM was quite a letdown. During informatics class, our teacher(who was a woman) asked who wanted to prepare for the informatics olympiad. Only me and one other boy were interested. We had lessons together for a week, I missed a few days because I was sick and when I got back, even though I asked the teacher to give me some programming exercises, she told me to draw something in Paint or make a PowerPoint while she was busy teaching that boy material for the olympiad. I missed out on so much by not learning programming back then and I really regret wasting that time drawing in Paint.

Another upsetting experience was when I wanted to join a team for a robotics competition. That competition had a rule that all teams must have at least one girl, which in most cases was "the PR girl", who was in charge of designing, printing, and sharing flyers and posters, while also going out to buy pretzels for the rest of the team. The teacher who was in charge did not even test my knowledge in any way before putting the label of "PR girl" on me, while putting guys who didn't know what they were doing (just appeared to know) in crucial technical roles. The saddest thing is that 99% of the teams were like this. Made out of guys, with one girl who was either the "financing girl" or the "PR girl" and who had no idea about the technical stuff. I must say, the point of these competitions is for all the members to learn, which almost no one puts into practice. It's not hard to see how you're not wanted nor appreciated when you want to join a robotics competition, only to be told to print some flyers or go out to buy food. It was clear that people were bothered by needing to have one girl on the team and treated them as fillers.

When I went to join the community electronics club with a male friend, the coordinator there had a conversation with us to see how much we already know. He started by asking us whether we're familiar with certain things, to which we only nodded in agreement. Although he didn't know us, he started shifting his attention to my friend and I felt left out, especially since the coordinator didn't even know my level of knowledge, he just assumed I knew less. On multiple occasions he assumed I knew less than my male friend even though he had no basis.

My next point is not a single experience, but multiple experiences cumulated over the years. Several (male and female) teachers made remarks on how girls are "not as devoted", "superficial" or "not suited to STEM subjects". Not only teachers, but family and acquaintances also have the tendency to usher them into non-STEM subjects, such as medicine or law. Even my mom (who worked as a civil engineer) told me not to become an engineer because it's a man's world and she faced numerous hardships.

Last, but not least, I have noticed the tendency of boys in school to be more vocal and confident, even when they have no basis. All of my female classmates had no issue acknowledging they are not confident with a subject or that they don't know some material, but a lot of boys manage to make people think they are more competent than they are (don't hate me for this yet, this is the experience I've had with dozens of males at school, in robotics teams or at community electronics clubs), which gives a lot of people the impression that men are more competent. This also makes sciences teachers pay more attention to guys. On multiple occasions, I have been surprised by how a very confident boy got a bad grade and a more quiet girl got a good one.

If you don't believe that STEM creates equal opportunities for both genders, you can see how even while taking proactive action, I was ignored. I think that women should be more vocal about the issues in STEM, because a lot of us have been taught to suck it up and find another job if we don't like it (this might be one of the reasons for the quite small number of women in STEM). I hope it is now clearer why some girls drop the idea of studying STEM as early as middle school. Sorry for the big text, just felt the need to share an example and to bring some clarity to the discussion.
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octo
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I genuinely think it's a shame that more girls don't feel encouraged to continue in tech. I was the only girl in my Computer Science class at GCSE and got the only A* in the cohort, but some of the reasons why I didn't take it further were

a) the full-on teenage boy cohort being a nuisance that my more mixed classes weren't, meaning I had to do a lot of my work outside of the classroom to be able to focus,
b) being picked on and singled out in class by the boys for being the only girl
c) my (male) teacher clearly being a little uncomfortable or unsure how to talk to me/treat me, which is kind of bizarre given that (checks hand) women are people
d) I didn't have enough A-level options to go around and ended up (wrongly) choosing Drama. I think I would have preferred Computing, but I was going to a new sixth form with all-new people and a two hour commute, and was a little worried I'd have to work out of the class that much again.

I think the lack of women going into tech is a bit of a vicious cycle: they don't see themselves represented, so they're less likely to think of it as an option, and because the spaces aren't necessarily the most helpful spaces if you're the only girl or one of only a handful, you're less likely to take it further and become the representation people need. It's not a thing of women "not being interested", as the infinite "girls who code" classes can show -- it's not always the best environment for us, and I think that's a real disappointment.
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Switch01
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who gives a crap, people are different, and when ur a guy/girl u are more likely to develop specific interests, hence why there are so few male nurses, or how males are looked down upon when working with kids.
But oh no, women arent going into tech, who cares!
Let the best people go into each field, regardless of gender, religion, race, whatever it may be
Sick of all this politically correct BS

Every girl Ik who took physics at my school for A level ended up dropping it, and you cant say they didnt get an equal opportunity as the guys who took it.
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Mirai609
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(Original post by The RAR)
As if I give a ****, we got more female doctors than male doctors nowadays so I really fail to see any "discrimination" in STEM industry. Standards for any industry should not be dropped purely because you want to attract more of that gender, you don't want that industry to fall below its supposed quality.
But I am sure in 300 years time the number of female scientists will outnumber the name of male scientists so there really is no need to be alarmed.
No one says that in order to get more women in the standards should be dropped. In fact, I think they will raise. In my experience, often times, an incompetent man will get more attention than a competent woman. If all those competent women were employed instead, maybe we'd be in a better place overall.
I don't believe that male doctors face as much adversity as female engineers (based on my friends' experiences and internet stories).
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Mirai609
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(Original post by karelina)
I thought we've already accepted the hard truth of this - most women simply aren't that interested in technology. Women prefer the arts, media, teaching, and caring professions.
Is it the hard truth? I know more women who were slowly but surely turned away from technology by their peers, teachers and families than those who were simply not interested in it.
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Gent2324
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this just highlights that it is not the companies fault for employing more men in technology, most women arent applying to them.
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eeiiiiio
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(Original post by mnot)
Is it?
I thought my point was pointing out the exact opposite of yours.
I was saying that people like Newton (mostly men) can be completely dedicated to a subject, whereas people like me are not and it's to do with my own vain, hedonistic pursuits & laziness which are common to most of the population. People take the path of least resistance.
I think my last part didn't make sense. It's just my view and consoles me when I'm disappointed in myself for not achieving anything.
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username4867806
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Why is low numbers of females in male dominated sectors a problem but not the other way round?
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