Women's Technology Empowerment Centre – W.TEC

The Tech Woman & Work

Lagos, Nigeria – 1st September, 2020:
W.TEC in making a case for more women in technology embarked on fact finding exercise to pool research findings facts to support the subject. Eventually a factsheet has been drawn up which clearly states why this is so. To this effect we urge you to look take a good look at this compilation of findings to help you to draw your own conclusions.
Kindly download ”The Women & Tech Factsheet”
This factsheet depicts the challenges women face in the workplace and is backed up by data in the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom and across the world. A McKinsey report on Breaking the gender Challenge– in the workplace reports that only 37% of the Technology workforce in the U.S is female[1]. This number falls as you go up the workforce ladder.  Just 30% of Managers in the Technology field are women, while 25% of Senior Managers/ Directors are female.  Also, looking even higher than those levels, the report finds that 20% of Vice Presidents and 19% of Senior Vice Presidents are female. At the very top, it finds that only 15% of C-suite leaders are female. The gradual decrease in numbers may be due to different things but it certainly indicates that more women need to be encouraged to enter technology fields and stay there to attain similar heights as their male counterparts.

Another McKinsey report which looks at closing the tech gender gap through philanthropy and corporate social responsibility, examines how females in the tech sector are scarce[2]. It reports that in the U.S, only 26% of the computing workforce is female. This report further states that the numbers are incredibly low for black and Latino women who make up 3% and 1% of the computing workforce respectively. Low numbers are observed in industries like computing as well as STEM. A Brookings study also finds similar figures in the STEM field. Of all students who study STEM degrees, only 35% were women and following their degree they account for only 22% of the STEM workforce.  Although these figures are for the U.S, similar figures can be seen in other developed countries like the U.K and Canada.
In the U.K in 2018, the number of women in STEM was 22%, a 1% decrease from the previous year which is not quite encouraging. STEM Women reports a subject breakdown with women making up 12% of engineering professionals, 43% of science professionals, 27% of engineering and science technicians, 16% IT Professionals and 17% of IT Technicians[3]. These figures show that the sciences is the only field with a good amount of women, other fields still have some work to do to get more women involved in them.
Similar trends can be seen in Canada where among young Canadians holding bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields, men are almost twice as likely to work in science and technology jobs as women in 2016[4] . There is an even steeper difference in engineers versus ICT Jobs as women made up under a quarter (22.3%) of computer and information system professionals and one in seven (13%) of civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers in Canada.
Having looked at the figures in several western countries it is essential that we look at the issue globally. Only 20% of Tech startups around the world are founded by women and this shows that women need to be supported and encouraged to be tech entrepreneurs. Women and girls also need to be mentored in these fields to give them easy access to Tech opportunities.  A UNESCO report states that only 28% of the world’s researchers are women[5]. This is another reason why it is important to support girls in STEM fields.
In conclusion, these facts illuminate the situation in some developed countries which are supposedly advanced, now when looking at the situation in developing countries, it is safe to estimate that these numbers are much lower. In a country like Nigeria, data is not readily available for a good analysis on this issue to be done. However, organizations like W.TEC are working tirelessly to ensure this type of data is readily available and accessible.

  1. Breaking down the gender challenge https://www.mckinsey.com/businessfunctions/organization/our-insights/breaking-down-the-gender-challenge
  2. Closing the gender gap through for women in technology https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/technology-media-andtelecommunications/our-insights/closing-the-tech-gender-gap-through-philanthropyand-corporate-social-responsibility
  3. The Growing Presence of women in Engineering https://engineeringonline.ucr.edu/blog/the-growing-presence-of-womenin-engineering/
  4. Advancing women and girls in science https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brookingsnow/ 2018/02/09/charts-of-the-week-advancing-women-and-girls-in-science/
  5. Percentages of Women in STEM Statistics https://www.stemwomen.co.uk/blog/2019/09/women-in-stem-percentages-ofwomen-in-stem-statistics
  6. Women in Science,Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) https://www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-science-technology-engineering-andmathematics-stem/
  7. 8 facts about women in tech https://www.rubiconcentre.ie/8-facts-about-women-intech/
  8. Cracking the code:girls and women’s education in STEM https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000253479

[1] Breaking down the gender challenge
[2]Closing the gender gap through for women in technology
[3]Percentages of Women in STEM Statistics
[4]Women in Science,Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
[5]Cracking the code: girls and women’s education in STEM[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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