The Odd Combination of Women and Technology

The Odd Combination of Women and Technology

It’s a longstanding view that women and technology is not the best combination. Most of the scientists around the globe are men who are busy giving the world a revolutionary turn while there are women still chopping veggies in their kitchens. If there is such a view, then it is a narrow one. And this is perpetuated by the age-old belief that women are not as technologically inclined as men and lack a certain scientific aptitude. As a result, women are considered best suited for only some selected jobs.

Women are not encouraged to take up professions like engineering. It is believed that women are not capable for such jobs.Compared to men, very few women take up engineering as their career choice. The proportion of women in the IT sector is much less than men. Most number of women are employed in their ‘supposed’ conventional sectors of employment which includes teaching, nursing, fashion, etc. thereby reflecting a gender-based division of labour.

This view is not just prejudiced gender wise but even racially. Women of colour in the US, make up for less than 6% of the work-force in the tech sector.

Also, most of the products which the IT companies come up with cater primarily to men. It’s just an in-built thought in their minds where they think of a working man while developing any product. Thus, we see how deep-rooted this narrow view is.

In a world where we are becoming increasingly dependent on technology, there is a pressing need to change these numbers. Where efforts are being made to make the internet and its benefits accessible to all, more women need to be encouraged to take up careers in the STEM sectors (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Initiatives like ‘Girls Who Code’, ‘Women’s Coding Collective’, ‘she++’ have taken the responsibility to make women proficient in technology by starting to teach them the basics of coding. 

If our mothers cannot operate their phones well, similar is the case with our dads. It is frivolous to expect people from the older generation to have the same kind of knowledge in technology as we do. There is no need to generalise access and operation of technology to gender-based demarcations.

The widely held view that women are not considered competent for highly skilled jobs has to be proven wrong. And there are women who have been successful in proving those notions wrong. Kirthiga Reddy, Head and Director Online Operations, Facebook India is amongst those women who happily chose the field of technology and today, she is at a position that not just women, but also men aspire to achieve.

“We don’t even know what the world would look like if we gave girls the power of technology’’, says Reshma Saujani, founder at Girls Who Code.


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