#ChoosetoChallenge Gender Disparities in Tech in Honor of International Women’s Day

VMblog.com | Disaster Recovery Journal, March 8, 2021

Despite the rise of women in STEM roles within recent years, a recent Kaspersky report revealed major inequities for women in the field. Only 10 percent of women working in a tech role work in a female-majority team, compared to 48 percent working in a male-majority team. A recent report from Exabeam also revealed that, on average, male respondents made $91K whereas female respondents reported $62K.

Below, women currently employed in the tech industry share their thoughts on the current state of the industry and provide advice for organizations and fellow professionals on how they can #ChoosetoChallenge stereotypes and pave the way for equality once and for all.

Caitlin Carter, Director, Client Services, Wisetail

“Despite the situation everyone has faced over the past 12 months, keeping the spotlight on diversity, equity and inclusion has never been more important. It’s positive to see that across the board there has been a widely embraced discussion about the value of leading with vulnerability, empathy and compassion, and my hope is that this will be seen as a positive legacy of our shared recent experiences.

By putting #ChooseToChallenge front and center of the equality movement on International Women’s Day, we can help women feel empowered to proactively challenge themselves and the norms that allow inequality and bias to persist in the workplace and society as a whole.”

Ali Knapp, President, Wisetail

“The first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911, but 110 years later, women still face many inequalities everyday. It’s widely known that men outnumber women in the technology industry, but what’s more alarming is the inequality in the gender pay gap: in 2020, women made $0.81 for every dollar a man made.

Just like any business challenge, I choose to focus on our controllables. At Wisetail, that’s hiring based on talent and creating an environment to develop motivated talent. With this approach, we’ve grown a nearly  50/50 workforce. We didn’t accomplish this with a mandate or a gender-focused goal in mind; we got to this point by looking for the best, most qualified, hardest working people we could find. We look beyond the physical characteristics to see the value and experience of an individual and what they will bring to help us evolve and progress as a company.

On this International Women’s Day, I want to encourage all companies to tackle the uncomfortable realities of human existence while also pursuing the talented individuals that can take your company to the next level. By focusing on a person’s talent rather than what they look like or what they believe, you will naturally create a diverse, progressive and successful team.”

Evan Melick, Director of Product, Wisetail

“The #ChooseToChallenge theme of International Women’s Day is important because, from an organizational point of view, equality can only be fully achieved if we all recognize the inherent value of individual humans, their capabilities and potential to succeed. This means we must create opportunities for women to undertake new, challenging assignments and encourage their growth and learning so there are more leadership role models of women in senior executive roles.

Individually, we need to take the view that challenges are often opportunities in disguise that can help overcome barriers to development, learning and career progression. It gives us all an opportunity to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.”

Rachael Nordby, Product Marketing Manager, Wisetail

“The beauty of #ChooseToChallenge is that it offers no hiding place for outdated views and the bias that still impacts the lives and careers of women in the workplace and beyond. By considering this idea on a personal and workplace level, we can question our attitudes and how they affect others, but we can also question the systems and engrained societal norms that, for some, remain an acceptable part of modern life.

For career paths that remain male dominated, such as engineering, helping connect young women to real and relatable stories and mentors will help them break into the computer room and even-out the gender lineup. Many women still don’t know that there’s a lot of flexibility and creativity in engineering and the tech industry in general that’s attractive to women, and it’s vital that we push harder to bring female talent into this vital area of the economy.”

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