Problems Women In Tech Face

Women in the technology workforce face many problems. For example lack of proper training, a bias interviewee selection process, problems in the interview process, and harassment. There are many ways that companies can limit all the problems that women face in technological jobs using technology.


Job Training

Factors of tech work places lead 41% of women to quit jobs in engineering, science, and technology well only 17% of men quit for these same jobs (Ashcraft, McLain, and Eger, pg. 9). There are more than countable reasons as to why this is. One reason that was in the report was inadequate training. For example in 2013 only 24.5% of women(Ashcraft, McLain, and Eger, pg. 18) felt that their workplace provided them with enough training to be successful.

There are many solutions to improper or lack of training. There are a number of online sites that will allow an employer to give employees a set training course. There are also many websites that provide training for certain tasks that don’t involve employer involvement. For example National Saftey Council, http://www.nsc.org/learn/Safety-Training/Pages/workplace-training.aspx, provides online training in safety.


Interviewee Selection

Before an employee can get promoted or trained they must be selected for the job. This involves a group of employees sorting and picking through applications to find possible candidates for an interview. An experiment performed by Speak With a Greek, a coding company, tested whether personal details changed the interviewees chance of being selected. 5,000 candidates were shown to the same group of employers. Every candidate was the same between the two trials. In the first trial the employers were given no personal details of the candidates. 54% of the candidates picked were female. In the second trial personal details like age, gender, and race were revealed. This time only 5% of the candidates were women(Carson).

One of many solutions to this is to mask or cover up personal details on an application.There are many programs that will hide personal information about a candidate like race and gender. One website that will do this is interviewing.io, https://interviewing.io/. This is a computer program that shows only the candidate’s ability accomplish tasks. By using this tech a company can reduce the bias involved in interviewing.


The Interview Process

During an interview there are many possible problems. For example intimidation. Many women find that walking into an interview with only men interviewers and interviewees can be frightening. This may lead the interviewee, female, to feel nervous and self-conscious. When interviewing a candidate that feels this way, it can make it difficult to tell how qualified a candidate is for the job.

Solutions to this problem involve reducing the amount of stress placed on a candidate/interviewee. One way is to create a more diverse interview panel, or people doing the interview. Another way to reduce stress is to use online programs to begin the interview process. An example of this is eTeki Smarter Interview, https://www.eteki.com/. This website allows people looking for jobs to do interviews and receive feedback without the stress of whether you get the job.


Harassment

One problem women face inside the workforce is sexism, or unfair treatment based on gender. For example Bethanye Blount, a coder for Second Life, shared a story about an incident she had during an interview. Blount held a senior position within the company which allowed her to be part of the interview process. While interviewing a candidate with fellow co-workers, Blount reports that the candidate ignored her questions with an off topic or rude comment. Blount later talked to a fellow female co-worker who was vice president of company. Her co-worker stated that she had received the same treatment from the candidate.

Many of the solutions to these problems is to find ways to allow women to report treatment like this. Most companies have rules against both verbal and physical harassment. The problem with this is that many women do not feel comfortable sharing or reporting harassment. A way to make it easy and safe to report harassment is to create a websites that provide women with a place to report these problems. This would involve keeping the name of the reporter anonymous. Another way is to hold support groups where women can share and or find help.


Women, Individually Growing and Learning

Even though women face all these problems in tech, women are still a powerful force in tech. The number of women graduating or studying tech in college is increasing. In 2011, of Harvard sophomores who declared computer science 41% were females. This was an increase of 34% from the class of ’11. There are also many websites that provide online classes, for example Future Learn, https://www.futurelearn.com/, and openSAP, https://open.sap.com/.


There are many problems that women in the tech workplace face but for each problem there is a way to solve or reduce it. Some of these problems in employee training, the interviewee selection process, the interview process, and harassment.


Ashcraft, Catherine, et al. “WOMEN IN TECH: THE FACTS.” www.ncwit.org/sites/default/files/resources/womenintech_facts_fullreport_05132016.pdf.

Becker, Elizabeth Grace. “Overcoming the Challenges of Being a Woman in Tech — Uxdesign.cc.” Uxdesign.cc, Uxdesign.cc, 27 Mar. 2017, uxdesign.cc/overcoming-the-challenges-of-being-a-woman-in-tech-91930375c40f.

Carson, Erin. “When Tech Firms Judge on Skills Alone, Women Land More Job Interviews.” CNET, 27 Aug. 2016, www.cnet.com/news/when-tech-firms-judge-on-skills-alone-women-land-more-job-interviews/.

Editor, The Muse. “The Latest Stats on Women in Tech.” Free Career Advice, The Muse, 15 Dec. 2012, www.themuse.com/advice/the-latest-stats-on-women-in-tech.

Huang , Georgene. “Women in Tech: How Their Experiences Differ From Other Women in the Workforce.” Forbes, 17 May 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/georgenehuang/2016/05/17/women-in-tech-how-their-experiences-differ-from-other-women-in-the-workforce/#577544364a92.

Hustad, Karis. “Why so Few Women in Tech? Seven Challenges and Potential Solutions.” The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 May 2014, www.csmonitor.com/Technology/2014/0512/Why-so-few-women-in-tech-Seven-challenges-and-potential-solutions/The-amount-of-women-graduating-with-computer-science-degrees-has-drastically-decreased-in-the-last-three-decades.-One-solution-Girls-Who-Code.

Lansing, Jane. “Women in Tech: Don’t Even Try to Fit in a Man’s World.” Fortune, 8 Aug. 2015, fortune.com/2015/08/08/jane-lansing-women-in-tech/.

Mundy, Liza. “Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 10 July 2017, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/04/why-is-silicon-valley-so-awful-to-women/517788/.

Sugiyama, June. “Women in Tech: What’s the Real Problem?” TechCrunch, TechCrunch, 14 Apr. 2016, techcrunch.com/2016/04/14/women-in-tech-whats-the-real-problem/.

Tugend, Alina. “Careers for Women in Technology Companies Are a Global Challenge.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 10 Oct. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/business/women-careers-technology-companies.html.

Wheeler, Darcy. “Why Women In Tech Today Is Surprisingly Low (And What To Do About It).” WP Engine, 27 Nov. 2017, wpengine.com/blog/women-in-tech-today/.

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