Coding is a male-dominated field. But why?
Less women are interested in programming
Women are less likely to be interested in programming. This is true for a variety of reasons, some having to do with cultural stereotypes and others having to do with how we were raised.
One reason women may be less interested in programming than men is because they don’t think it’s relevant to them or their interests. Women tend to see coding as an activity that is only useful for certain kinds of jobs, or as being more closely associated with video games or “geek” culture than other activities that might interest them.
There is less focus on teaching girls to code in schools
Female students are less likely to be taught coding in school, and even more unlikely to pursue a career in programming, computer science or software engineering. According to data from the National Centre for Education Statistics’ Digest of Education Statistics, only about 11 percent of women who graduated from college with bachelor’s degrees majored in computer science or information systems (compared with 27 percent of men).
On top of this, girls are subjected to stereotypes that make them feel like they shouldn’t pursue careers like software engineering because they won’t be able or interested enough—despite research suggesting otherwise! This can cause girls who are interested in technology-related fields (including STEM) to not only feel discouraged from pursuing those careers but also lead them away from pursuing any related field at all because it doesn’t seem like a good fit due solely on gender stereotypes about what makes someone suitable for these jobs.
There is a lack of role models
The sad truth is that it’s hard for anyone who doesn’t already know someone who works in technology to see themselves becoming a programmer. There are very few women who are the role models for other women entering this field. For example, women make up 22% of all programmers and less than one-fifth of executive officers at major technology firms.
Tech companies have a hostile culture towards women
Another reason why there are so few women who are into programming is the hostile culture within tech companies. They also earn less than men: In San Francisco, for example, white and Asian men with a bachelor’s degree earn $133,000 annually; for their female counterparts it’s about $121,000 and $124,000 respectively (and black women make even less). Finally their number has fallen dramatically since 1990—when 40% of computer science graduates were female—to just 18%.
More should be done to make coding more welcoming for women
First of all, we can encourage more women to learn how to code: if we teach our daughters from a young age that it’s okay for them to write computer programs, then maybe someday we won’t need “women in tech” initiatives anymore!
Finally—and this one is probably the most important—we can hire more female programmers at our companies! Having more women on staff will help create an inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable working together on projects without feeling out-of-place because their gender doesn’t fit into any preconceived notions about what programmers look like or act like.