What’s lacking in IT these days? Women!

Posted by:Whitridge in Business & Technology
10 June 2014 0

I read a recent article on Fierce CIO that somewhat stunned me. It indicated that there is a frightening shortage of women in IT today and it does not seem to be getting better. That, along with the news that new jobs being created in the economy are in large part being created for men screams of a need to put some focus on this problem.
What surprised me the most about the lack of women is the fact that the environment in IT is so suitable for both single and women with children due to the ability to produce much of the work in IT virtually. This flexibility affords the opportunity for a remote employee to fulfill much of the responsibilities of a Developer or Quality Assurance person while still managing the challenges of raising a family. We all know many women that do this and do it admirably.
Some statistics from the Fierce CIO article that I think will surprise you; Google, that bastion of innovation released its workplace diversity report and only 30% of their employees are women and 48% of these are in non-technology positions.
Another study of CIO’s found that only 7 percent of CIOs globally are women. That is a shockingly low number considering we provide high level IT resources to leading corporations and the women we employ are some of the brightest and knowledgeable professionals we representing us.
What are some of the solutions? We must as a nation and a society make it clear to women that there is a welcome place for them in IT. There must be structured outreach programs to high school students both female and male that there is a bright future in IT for a very long time to come. There needs to be a change in perception of an IT person as a nerd with a pocket protector which has never been the case. Cyber security and big data along with healthcare IT are areas that have some cache to them and should be careers that get the attention of the high school student that are looking for something  fulfilling , challenging or that brings out the sleuth in them.
Another statistic quoted in the article from Information Week, is in the IT security space only 14 per cent of the staff and ten percent of the management are women. What is lacking in IT? In healthcare IT has become the backbone of advances not only in patient information but in treatment modalities. With the explosion of big data the ability to extract large amounts of data and analyze and even predict future outcomes you would think would be of interest and with cybersecurity you’re talking about insulating both military and commercial information that will have consequences to both our national security and the economy.
Whatever it is that can correct this inadequacy it should be something we as employers address immediately. It’s bad enough that we don’t have the supply of candidate we need, to eliminate a majority of a gender that represents 51% of the population is not going to help our problem go away any time soon.
Come on women step up and join the ranks of the information revolution where data is power and you’re the conductor.