This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Tech jobs at non-tech companies; speaking up at work; STEM jobs might not require tech-specific college degrees, and more.
Looking for a tech job? It may not be at a tech company. The annual AnitaB.org Top Companies Insights Report found that out of 76 surveyed companies, the workplaces with the highest rankings for women in tech were not purely tech companies. For instance, several financial institutions, insurance firms and major retail establishments blew tech companies out of the water -- no Googles or Apples even in sight. Furthermore, while the world may not be near gender equality by 2025, it is approaching what AnitaB calls the "tipping point" -- or when a minority group reaches 30% representation and the "company's culture begins to change and the path to equity accelerates." (See WiCipedia: The AI Diversity Struggle, Companies Aren't Prioritizing Equality & New-Mom Decisions.)
A new survey from Capital One summarizes why so many women in tech quit the industry, and how companies can retain them, explains an article in Forbes. A whopping 40% of female techies leave their jobs in the middle of their careers for other paths. Many women moved on because of "weak management support (23%)," "a dearth of opportunity (20%)" and "a lack of work-life balance (22%)." Even those who stayed at their jobs for years considered leaving at some point for these reasons and others like: "workplace challenges such as limited advanced opportunities (27%)," "unfair compensation compared to peers (25%)" and "little support from management (22%)." If we know exactly why women move on to greener pastures, why can't companies address these complaints head-on and get to the root of the issue? (See WiCipedia: Gen Z Changemakers, MotherCoders & Keeping Women in Tech.)
If you're a woman who has trouble speaking up at work, you are certainly not alone. Yahoo republished an essay from two years ago (that certainly still rings true today) by Social Media Marketer Caitie Gonzalez at Hello Giggles who made an oath that she would start speaking up in meetings. While there are many reasons not to say your piece (loud, interrupting male co-workers; boredom; harassment...) there are just as many reasons to speak your mind. We loved Caitie's takeaway the most though: "One thing you should always remember: It's not you, it's them. Never let the negative aspects of the tech industry hold you back from your personal and career goals. You don't have to be a passive player in the workplace." (See WiCipedia: The Cool Tech Girl & Rallycross Racing.)
An article from Sifted focused on what not to do when talking about diversity measures -- an interesting and much-needed perspective. We'll admit we're guilty of one 'Don't' -- focusing on negative stories about women in tech. A positive stance makes a better impression (didn't my mom used to say this?). Point taken. Diverse opinions and content require an authentic voice, and no one should have to justify why an industry needs to be diverse. Lastly, the article stated that people of color shouldn't be put in a box or asked ridiculous questions because of their minority status -- something we all can surely get behind. (See WiCipedia: Smile to Get Ahead, Coding Ninjas & 'Women in Tech' Need a New Moniker.)
Speaking of focusing on good news, Yahoo reported more women than ever are applying for tech jobs without tech-related college degrees. For example, "72 percent more women applied for roles as Software Developers and Engineers; 85 percent more women applied for roles as Data Scientists and; 227 percent more women applied for roles as Data Engineers" than in the previous year. The stats came from a study from Handshake, an online community for college women in the US, and is based on more than 100,000 women who applied for jobs via Handshake in the past year. With so many opportunities to learn coding online, candidates wouldn't need formal degrees to have the skill sets many tech jobs require, which breaks down barriers to entry for lots of potential applications. (See Undeterred, More Women Are Applying for Technical Roles Each Year.)