More and more women choose a career in IT. The population of female software devs has been growing steadily year by year, but they are still a minority in the tech sector. Next week it’s International Women’s Day, and I think it’s a good time to look into why it is worth to hire women to your dev team.
(Attention! This blog post aims to express the greatest admiration for all girls in IT and totally is devoted to them)
Ever played Assassin's Creed? If you have, you will be surprised to know that the producer is a female programmer, Jade Raymond. She started her career as a software developer for Sony, after that she started to work as a producer of The Sims online. Now she’s one of the most famous female programmers, along with Amanda Wixed. Almost everyone has played the famous Farmville game and she is the lady who has a lion’s share in the development of the game. If I still haven’t convinced you that coding is only for boys, let me prove that you’re wrong.
Women are starting to see technology as a profession with a promising future. According to Developer Marketing 2015 survey from Evans Data’s the number of females in software development has more than doubled since first being measured in 2001. A few years later, in 2015, 22.2% of software developers are women, which means a little over four million female software developers worldwide.
In general, it’s a huge number, but the current stats aren’t particularly optimistic. The world of technology still has a vast gender disproportion.
According to the available estimates, only about 15% of staff in high-tech companies are female. A public Google spreadsheet, created by a female software engineer to track women specifically writing or architecting software on a full-time basis, shows up roughly 19% at the 84 companies charted. It’s still a small part in the total number of employees.
Programing is women’s work
Not only is the number of female programmers low to start, but a large number of women opt out of the field after working in it for some time. Women especially in high-tech, are far more likely to quit their jobs than women in other professions. Why? Many say they left their career because they felt they hit a glass ceiling or had been treated unfairly compared to their male counterparts. And that’s only one of the problems that women in IT are facing.
Girls on dev teams shouldn’t wear dresses or men are better at tech - these wrong stereotypes unfortunately still exist.
Let’s to step back and look into the beginnings of programming, to understand why I called coding a woman’s thing .
In fact, the first programmer was a woman! Her name was Ada Lovelace and she worked on the analytical engine. From 1837 when the analytical engine has been built, through Margaret Hamilton, who lead the Apollo 11 mission computing team, up to the 1980s when programming was considered "women's work". Later as of 2010-2011, women made up just 17.6% of computer science students.
The beauty and the joy of writing code
Thanks to growing efforts to engender diversity across the male-dominated industry, the underrepresentation of women in the tech and IT fields has produced dozens of panels, female-friendly boot camps, and workshops.
Education seems to be moving in the right direction encouraging girls to write code. For years many women have developed misconceptions about the IT and tech industry. Even if women don’t consider themselves as techies, many different roles could be a right fit for them. There are plenty of jobs available and there are lots of ways for women to become good developers.
The University of California at Berkeley experienced a revolution in their initial computer science classes after changing how they marketed the course. What used to be known as Introduction to Symbolic Programming is now called The Beauty and the Joy of Computing. As a result, for the first time in 2014, women in the class outnumbered men.
Code it like a girl
Luckily, women today are more aware and a more interested in coding than before and I hope this is gonna be a long-term trend.
Girls involved in learning web and software development can count on female IT organizations’ support. A few examples are: Women In Technology International, a leading organization for professional tech-savvy women, TechWomen, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affair or Geek Girls Carrots from Poland, a global organisation focused on connecting, learning and inspiring women in Tech and IT.
A number of female-focused tech institutions provide a glimmer of hope that the IT sector is changing its attitude towards female specialists. It’s the right time to close the gender gap in software development .
Former doctor became a programmer
Due the the underrepresentation of women in the IT industry it is much easier to find male developers. However, at The Masters we are lucky to have two wonderful women who are top-notch programmers. These two girls change the way devs communicate with each other and prove that we need girls on board. The story of one of them is very interesting and I think it’s worth to share with you.
Monika, who is currently working with us as a Ruby on Rails Developer, was half way through her medical studies, when she decided to quit it and become a programmer. Thanks to her experience with studying medicine, she is now our expert in building medtech applications. Monika is now working on Pregnabit - an innovative, portable diagnostic device for pregnant women that allows safe and reliable examination of the fetal heart rate, the mother's pulse and the record of the uterine muscle contraction. The data collected by the device is transmitted wirelessly to the Medical Telemonitoring Center, operated by qualified medical staff. The fact that she is a woman can only help her to better understand the expectations of the female audience of the app. Our client appreciates Monika’s helpful and innovative approach.
What are the other reasons to consider hiring women in dev team?
Spending most of the day working only with men, may get a bit monotone, no matter how good our work relations are. In your everyday life, at shopping malls, restaurants or shops, you meet people of both sexes. It’s hard to imagine those places with only one sex present, isn’t it? Women bring more emotions to the atmosphere in the team and reliese tension between men.
Girls are rather more detail-oriented than men, what sometimes makes them better software developers. Thanks to that, women are great at testing applications. Females are also more organized and structured. They have really good alternating attention and that's the reason why they can often see the bigger picture. Without omitting the details.