Women And Technology, Forces in Tandem for a More Responsible Future - Asset Display Page

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By Cristina Valles


July 10, 2023

Technology is an unstoppable sector that demands an ever-increasing number of new positions. Currently, giant steps have been taken in the inclusion of women in this field, though there still remains a long way to go.

According to the 2022 Women and Innovation study of the Women, Science and Innovation Observatory (OMCI), 52.5% of women employed in science and technology have higher education degrees compared to 41% of men. In addition, women make up 41% of the research staff in Spain and 38.4% of the technical staff. This data reflects a slight increase of 1% compared to the previous year.

Similarly, the IX Report on women in the IBEX highlights that, of the 1,280 council seats that exist on the Spanish stock market, 330 are already occupied by women. This means they are only 4.2 points away from reaching the 30% target for 2020 of the CNMV – Spain’s National Securities Market Commission – despite still being far from the good governance code of 40% this body set for 2022.

The data from both studies indicate we are moving in the right direction, since in addition to the presence of women in technology companies, there are increasingly more women in non-technological companies that occupy positions related to technology, including as Systems Directors or Digital Transformation Directors, the latter a recent creation in almost all companies. However, it is still necessary to continue raising awareness in all areas and entities of society to achieve the stipulated equality objectives.

The reduction of the gender gap can be achieved by helping women to continue fighting and reach where they want to be in their professional career. From my point of view, it would be very useful if women had more role models in visible positions who tell their personal stories and where they fit within the reality of the sector, inspiring and motivating new generations of women to follow in their footsteps.

In the context of education, the choice of STEM or technological careers by women and girls is still very low, although it is true that in recent years much progress has been made.

Today, one of the biggest challenges women who work in this sector face is encouraging primary and secondary school students to study technological careers. For this reason, it is important to show technology from a point of view more focused on everything it can contribute to society, since until now, technology was associated with systems and was considered the “grayest” part of companies. For example, why can't we encourage girls, the women of the future, to be those who design and program the machine with which the patient is to be operated on, instead of becoming healthcare professionals? Why, instead of being teachers, can't they be the experts who design the applications through which children learn in virtual classrooms? To do this, we have to make them see that it is a transformative and value-generating area in a society that needs to evolve and become increasingly sustainable, with technology playing a fundamental role.

According to a study by the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI), women in Spain represent only 13% of the students in STEM careers - a figure that drops to 9% when we consider Vocational Training. We find similar patterns in other European countries, such as Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland, with figures ranging between 10% and 12%.

As the statistics indicate, there are increasingly more job openings than professionals who can fill all the vacancies. This may be a fundamental reason why women decide to bet on this field of study, since with a technology degree they have a guarantee that a future awaits them to develop their professional career. Importantly, with this as a promise, we can promote a more collaborative and sustainable society.

Cristina Valles, Country Manager for NEORIS Spain

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