Updated March 29, 2023
Closing the Gender Gap: Why Women Belong in Software Engineering
The gender gap in Software Engineering, Technology and more broadly STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is a persistent issue that has been evident for many years. Women make up only 28% of the STEM workforce in the United States1. A report by the National Science Board states that women represent only 29% of the science and engineering workforce worldwide.
Kulwarang Preeprem (AKA First), a Software Support Engineer at Iron Software, is one woman who decided to pursue a career in technology despite the gender disparity. She initially wanted to be a rocket scientist and traveled from Thailand to the United States to study aerospace. However, after completing her studies, she ultimately decided to transfer to software engineering and joined Iron Software. Her journey highlights the importance of pursuing one's passions and being open to pivoting when necessary.
First recalls being one of only a few women in a lecture hall full of men when she decided to study aerospace at university. This gender disparity is reflective of the current statistics. Women are underrepresented, with just 18% of computer science bachelor's degrees awarded to women in 2019. Additionally, only 22% of physics bachelor's degrees were awarded to women in the same year.
The gender gap in STEM is a multifaceted issue, with several factors contributing to the underrepresentation of women in the field. One major factor is the lack of female role models. Without visible female software engineers, scientists and mathematicians, it can be difficult for young girls to envision themselves pursuing a career in technology. Additionally, stereotypes and biases about gender roles in science and math can discourage young girls from pursuing careers in jobs like software engineering.
Another factor contributing to the gender gap in technology is the lack of access to education and training. Girls and women in many parts of the world do not have the same opportunities for education in STEM fields as their male counterparts. This can result in fewer women entering STEM careers and contributing to the underrepresentation of women in the field.
To close the gender gap, it is essential to address these underlying factors. This can be done through initiatives and programs aimed at increasing access to education and training for girls and women. Additionally, increasing the visibility of female scientists, engineers, and mathematicians can help to inspire and encourage the next generation of women to pursue careers in aerospace and engineering.
It is also crucial to recognize and address the biases and stereotypes that discourage women from pursuing STEM, and Iron Software is taking steps to build a diverse workforce.
The gender gap is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted approach to resolve. By addressing the underlying factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of women in the field and promoting gender equality, we can work towards closing the gender gap and creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce. As First notes, there are countless opportunities for women, and by pursuing their passions and interests, they can make a meaningful impact on the world around them.
Find out how Iron Software is embracing diversity with more equality
: Source - According to the website, Women in STEM Pros and Cons