The Importance of Gender Equality in Tech

Sara Miteva
Published in
6 min readOct 1, 2019


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By now, you’ve probably heard that the first line of code ever was written by a woman. Yes, that’s right. Ada Lovelace was the first ever to discover that aside from simple calculations, machines can also execute algorithms. She’s considered the first one to discover the full potential of the computing machine and the author of the first computer program.

Knowing that she lived in the first half of the 19th century, you’d guess that two centuries later, there would be plenty of women following her path.

What do statistics say?

  • Honeypot’s 2018 Women in Tech Index claims that only 31% of the employees in IT are female. The research was conducted in 41 countries, and in some of them, the female IT workforce accounts for less than 10% of the total workforce.
  • Statista says that “female employees make up between 27% (Microsoft) and 47% (Netflix) of the workforce at major tech companies, with the percentage dropping much lower when it comes to actual tech jobs.
  • A Woman Who Tech infographic reveals that only 11% of the executives of Fortune 500 companies are women and only 5% of tech startup owners are women. Another interesting takeaway from this infographic is that 40% of women believed that companies don’t spend enough time addressing equality, while 82% of men said that companies were spending enough time working on the issue.

And, it’s not just the workplace itself. The gender gap is everywhere.

Let’s take tech conferences for example. Can you remember a tech conference where you saw more women than men?

Lin Classon, one of the directors of tech company Ensono attended Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference in 2017. Here, she noted an interesting thing. Women’s bathroom was empty, while there was a long, long line in front of the men’s bathroom.

“There’s a big gap in the makeup of women in the tech industry, which means a lot of women most likely don’t have a mentor at their organization, let alone a female mentor who’s done it, or who’s, dare we say, made it. There are conversations that women could get more out of by having them with other women, like how to ask for a raise or put yourself up for promotion. Tech conferences are an opportunity for women to be surrounded by other professionals in the industry, and are therefore great opportunities for women to learn from and support each other,” she told Forbes.

This fact made her company research the problematics a little bit. Ensono surveyed 503 women from the US and the UK tech industries about their presence at tech conferences. Half of them said they had sat on a panel during some of these conferences, and 70% of those who did sit on a panel were the only woman on stage.

That’s why, many organizers started launching women-oriented tech events, where women could become more empowered. However, excluding men from these events and making women-only events might do just the opposite. Maybe including women at events where men are present too would be a better solution. Men’s awareness needs to be raised because they too should take action to improve gender equality.

Despite all the facts, we can’t say that progress hasn’t been made. The Global Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum says that 68% of the world’s gender gap has been closed.

Why is gender equality in Tech important?

Gender equality in IT remains a global challenge. Equaling the number of males and females in Tech can bring many benefits:

Business growth

The gender gap in work costs businesses a lot. Companies that don’t have enough female employees lack different opinions, innovation, and even revenue. Diversity in the workplace brings in more creativity and better results — companies that respect diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

Organizations with diverse teams are more successful in keeping their employees happy, and therefore have a lower turnover rate, which significantly reduces their costs. Moreover, they show more innovation and make smarter decisions.

Finally, a company that has a reputation as a diverse workplace doesn’t struggle in recruiting the best talent, saving both money and time to find the best employees.

In order to change this, some companies even started using digital tools that discover whether a job description in an ad is more appealing to men or women. If this is the case, they try to find an alternative description that won’t cause this problem. Some of them even use blind CVs.

Economic growth

A McKinsey Global Institute research has shown that the UK gender gap will cost the country’s economy £150 billion by 2025 in missed gross value added. The institute also claims that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 if workplace equality makes advancements.

“In a “full potential” scenario in which women play an identical role in labor markets to that of men, as much as $28 trillion, or 26 percent, could be added to global annual GDP by 2025.”

Better customer understanding leads to better products

Having women in a development team means having representatives of the female part of the audience. When you have women as one-half of your consumers, and in some cases even more than a half (for example, Instagram has more female users), you should have women behind the product as well. This way, companies can get a better understanding of consumers’ needs, resulting in the development of better products that are the best fit for those needs. Bringing in diversity means opening more opportunities for designing products for everyone.

Talents shortage

The digital skills gap in the UK costs the economy around £63 billion per year. Moreover, the country will need 1.2 million new digital talents by 2022. However, the UK doesn’t have enough graduates to fill in this need because the country has failed to encourage women to start a career in Tech. What is more, the number of women in Tech in the UK is even getting smaller.

The situation isn’t different in other countries — many jobs will be digitized and the demand for Tech workers keeps growing. Encouraging women to take this path means closing the shortage of talents and getting ready to encounter the demands of the future.

Social inclusion

Having more women in higher positions can improve the social status of women and their treatment in society. We know that tech roles get some of the highest pays in the world, so higher inclusion of women can enable them to ensure a better economic position for themselves as well.

Technology impacts everyone

Gender balance in companies who are supposed to be the drivers of the future is crucial to their success. This should be especially important to companies that rely on emerging technologies, such as AI and blockchain. These technologies need more innovation and creativity, achieved with great collaboration between diverse mindsets.

The products of the future will impact everyone — not only men. That’s why women too should be involved in their creation, development, and marketing. Closing the gender gap will help us create a better future for everyone.

Although this is a matter that should involve governments and institutions, the approach must also be on an individual level. Every company is an organization on its own, creating its own company culture and making it a place that welcomes everyone, without any discrimination. Diversity in Tech will give companies different approaches to problem-solving.

As the industry is looking for ways to solve this problem that has been present for ages, they must know that making women feel more welcome is crucial to encourage them to pursue a career in Tech. Let’s strive to get a new generation of strong Tech experts and mentors for those to come.

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Sara Miteva

Senior Technical PMM @ Checkly | Secure your app's uptime with Monitoring as Code |