As I go through my career I can’t help but wonder: Why there are there so few women in technical jobs? In other words: where are all my girlfriends?
I don’t believe there are any differences in predisposition that are preventing women from going into tech. I do believe however that there are many barriers faced by women in this area.
It starts with the direction that is given to young children and carries on into early education. Are girls encouraged to do computer science or maths in the way that boys are? And how does this impact the number of students and graduates who take up technical studies? Then there is the problem of the workplace – research suggests that men are more confident here than women. Potentially this makes a difference too. The data suggests that family matters also have a slightly stronger impact on women than on men. This in itself should not create any challenges however it becomes an issue when we look at the benefits and support that the workplace offers. Would there be more women in tech companies if they provided a better level of social support? Finally people tend to follow role models. Are there enough highly visible female role models in technology to inspire young women and thus impact their career choices?
In order to answer some of those questions and test my thesis, I have collected publications and research (see sources below), gathered public data (see below for details) and used Twitter API to research the extent of social media influence.
Based on that I have created a visualised, interactive story.
Pension Provision (Employer) by SIC2007 Industry, Self Employed jobs by industry (UK totals), All in employment by industry sector.