BY LAUREN LONGO
Right now, there’s a really active conversation happening about how to get more women in technology. The industry today is overwhelmingly male. While there’s plenty of talk about how to get more women to join the tech industry, a lot of women still can’t really picture themselves there. It makes sense. For so long, the industry has been dominated by white men and anyone not fitting that description probably has a hard time imagining how they’d fit in. Don’t let the “brogrammer” stereotype deter you. Here are five reasons women really need to consider a career in tech.
Plenty of Opportunities
Look, I get it. You want a job that’s rewarding but also...you’ve got a mountain of student loans you’re going to need to pay off. If you’re looking for an industry with lots of opportunities, tech is the way to go. According to the White House, there are currently 500,000 unfilled jobs in technology across all sectors. We need a lot of skilled tech professionals to fill those jobs, so why not fill them with women? Since the 1980s, the tech industry has been a notorious boy’s club. These opportunities provide a path to narrow the gender gap in tech, if women are willing to take them. And, it’s not only coding. While certainly some of the jobs involve software engineering, they also include cybersecurity, network administration, design, data analytics, and more.
"IF WOMEN ARE LOOKING FOR A FIELD WITH PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITIES, TECHNOLOGY IS ANXIOUSLY AWAITING THEIR ARRIVAL."
There’s So Much Variety
Whether it’s designing new features for a dating app or making sure a hospital’s network stays up and running (yes, I realize the huge difference in those two scenarios), there are tons of ways to make a difference in this industry. There are so many different ways to be involved in this industry, plenty of opportunities for creativity and problem solving, and endless ways to make an impact. If you can’t imagine yourself developing software in Silicon Valley, that’s okay. Tech jobs are available in essentially every sector. There’s not just one way to be involved in this industry.
The Industry Needs Diversity
You can, quite literally, change the face of an industry. There’s a huge lack of diversity in the tech industry and a huge need for workers. By joining the industry at this critical time, women can make a lasting impact on the future of the industry and the technology we use everyday--all we have to do is show up. Not only can women change the industry by working in tech, but we can change what the industry produces and ensure that the technology being developed now is created with women in mind.
The Money Doesn’t Hurt
You know what’s even better than getting a job? Getting a job that pays really well. Last year, when Glassdoor provided a list of the highest-paying jobs that were also in high-demand, guess how many were in tech? Fourteen out of 25. These jobs included software engineers, UX designers, software architects, database administrators, data scientists, IT managers, and more. The average base salary for a software engineer, according to Glassdoor, is $96,392. For software architects, the highest paid profession in the tech industry, the average is $130,891. Considering the average American family took home just over $53,000, earning nearly double that on a single paycheck doesn’t sound bad at all. And, like Queen Bey says, best revenge is your paper.
When you put all of these things together and you get to break into a boys club at the same time, it’s got to feel at least a little empowering. Obviously, women are just as capable of coding (and other tech skills) as men. There aren’t as many of us doing these jobs, but it’s not because we can’t or that their too hard. There are many other barriers preventing women from joining this field, but it’s not that we’re just not good enough. We are, and proving it is going to feel damn good.