Historically, the technological sector has been male-dominated and today, unfortunately, it still is. Women, as in many other sectors, do not represent even 30% of the total.
The month of March is always marked by the celebration of the Day of the Working Woman. Following this trend, we focus on the female presence in our sector of activity, technology. In the professional sphere, we follow many patterns out of habit, without stopping to think whether we are persevering with the historical curse of gender differences. There are many sectors where parity does not exist. The areas of education, health or social work have a female representation of around 70%. On the other hand, in the field of technology, women represent 29% of the total.
The inequalities in the technological sector start in the classrooms. They continue when looking for a job, because, on many occasions, the knowledge and capabilities women have are questioned, distancing them from upper managerial positions, and they finish with the wage gap.
The Observatory for Equality and Employment, in the study Transformative competencies for gender equality in society and the digital economy (June 2020), confirms the large difference -in numbers- between women and men salaried employees in this sector. Only 3 out of 10 are women. The study also comments on the difference in specialization between the sexes: the most technical positions are occupied mainly by men.
According to Barcelona Digital Talent, women entrepreneurs - ‘techies’ - only represent 15% of the total of sector start-ups. Even more discrete is the female representation in upper management positions in digital companies, with only 6%. Also, the latest data from the National Institute of Statistics sets the wage gap in the technological industry at 11%, a figure that has decreased 7% from 2010.
A study by the Women’s Institute and ONTSI, Women and Digitalization: digital divides to algorithms, states that only 2% of all salaried women in Spain work in the ICT sector, compared to 5.7% of males. This shortage of women in the technological field reinforces the concept of the glass ceiling. The professional-personal life balance for women is more complicated than in other sectors, as they are the minority of the group and must decide whether to improve at work or take a step forward in their personal life, such as motherhood. In addition, there is fraternity among men, which displaces women to more vulnerable positions.
It is true that there is a long road ahead towards equality and equity in the ICT sectors. However, on a hopeful note, the situation of women has been improving and making strides forward.