With technology and computers constantly evolving, from the iPhone 7 to the 3D printing of synthetic organs, the tech field is expanding and innovating by the second. What’s not changing, however, is the diversity in these tech companies, though diversity is one of the most important parts of a business, especially when it comes to formulating ideas.
Although the products created by tech companies are typically meant for people of all identities, they’re made mainly by men, with women only comprising a small fraction of the companies’ workforces. According to the Girls Who Code website, “By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs available in computing related fields.”
Women are predicted to fill only three percent of those jobs. This is a major problem of representation.
With a growing tech industry and passion from many people, it would make sense for the media’s image of a computer scientist to constantly change. Instead, when people think of coders, they imagine skinny white guys in hoodies. Because of this, a lot of people who don’t resemble the stereotype don’t even consider the computer sciences as a possibility for their futures.
This underacknowledged issue can even be seen at CVHS. In one of AP computer science teacher Mindy Holmes’ classes, only 12 of 32 students are girls. Holmes said that many girls are already intimidated by the math-related fields, and it doesn’t help that computer science is “a profession dominated by men.” It is in our best interest to change these statistics and to encourage more girls to learn about technology.
I was lucky enough to attend a Girls Who Code program this summer, where I sat in an extremely diverse classroom nearly every day for seven weeks. There, I was taught not only the fundamentals of programming, but also the importance of difference in perspective when coding. If I was ever stumped on a piece of code, I would turn to the person next to me and ask for help. Because we all came from different backgrounds, and had different experiences, every single person took a different approach to solving the problem.
Diversity is not only beneficial for problem solving, but it also helps provide representation for minorities. Tech companies are built on the idea of innovation, but oftentimes, the products they create are put together by one type of person. It doesn’t make sense for a company creating a software to be prominently employing males, when people of all gender identities use its products.
People with different perspectives are key in these situations; it’s a matter of representation and diverse ideas. The only way we can diversify the technology industry is to blatantly ignore the stereotypes and continue to encourage the underrepresented to pursue a career they might not have considered previously. It only makes sense for tech companies of all kinds to hire people of all kinds.