Today’s time is much different from the previous one: now the technologies rule everywhere as well as the information becomes the commodity. No wonder it is said that the 21st century is the age of information technology. The things that in the past years seemed new and unknown, now are even irrelevant. Previously, children dreamed of becoming astronauts, but now every second child dreams of becoming a programmer. The IT sphere is developing more and more every day, achieving great results. Consequently, with the increase in the sphere, the number of programmers increases.
One of the hottest topics in recent years – the equality of career opportunities for men and women in the IT-sphere. This topic turned out to be especially actual about a year ago, when such giants of Silicon Valley as Google, Yahoo, Ebay published an article that indicated the percentage of women working in these companies, and it turned out to be negligible – only 20% of the total number of employees were women. This gender disparity is alarming, especially as IT careers are often referred to as the jobs of the future, driving innovation, social wellbeing, inclusive growth and sustainable development.
Achievements of women in the IT sphere
From the beginning of history, women argued that their abilities in mathematics and physics as well as in programming are no worse than boys’ abilities. If you plunge into history, it is worth noting that the first programmer in history is Lord Byron’s daughter – Ada Lovelace, who first invented binary code, made a description of the first computer and wrote the first program for the same computer. No less a significant person in the development of programming was Grace Hopper, who created the first compiler and was the project manager for creating the first high-level programming language – COBOL.
There are many reasons why women today do not want to associate their lives with the IT-sphere: harmful stereotypes that women are poorly versed in mathematics or science; structural obstacles that prevent women from developing, prejudices. So according to a study by scientists from the California Polytechnic University and the University of North Carolina, it was found that 78.6% of the codes written by women were successfully approved by buyers, and for men this figure was only 74.6% in cases where the customer was unaware sex performer. However, otherwise, when the customer learned about the performer’s field, the level of reliability for women decreased to 62.5%.
Women in various positions
Of course, today there are a sufficient number of women in IT, the roles of women and men in the Ukrainian field of information technology are very different. Women constitute the overwhelming majority in non-technical positions – in the field of HR, PR, sales. At the same time, development, top management and system administration remain “male” professions: more than 90% of those working in these positions are men. But women’s access to these highly paid and prestigious posts is difficult in Ukraine and, in particular, in Kharkov, which is the second largest IT center in the country.
The world is constantly moving: the weaker sex is in no way inferior to the strong either in education or in professional competencies. And maybe in a few decades, no one will remember that the IT industry was “not for girls.” In the end, once and cars were driven only by men!