International Women’s Day: Breaking the Barriers of Women in Tech

This year’s International Women’s Day represents a fitting moment to reflect on the state of gender equity today and what we all need to do to achieve it. And the United Nations’ theme for the annual celebration is one that hits close to home for us – DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.

Women have made immeasurable contributions to the development of technology and the digital world in which we live. Despite this, they have historically not been as welcomed or appreciated as their male counterparts in tech-related fields. While recent years has seen progress being made in this regard, as evidenced by the growing number of female leaders in tech companies, there is still much work to be done.

The work begins with education. There remains a significant underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers, which presents a major barrier to their participation in tech design and leadership. Women make up only 28% of the workforce in STEM, and men greatly outnumber women majoring in most STEM fields in college.

Some of the key factors perpetuating gender gaps in STEM include: [1]

  • Gender Stereotypes: STEM fields are often viewed as masculine, and teachers and parents often underestimate girls’ math abilities starting as early as preschool.
  • Male-Dominated Cultures: Because fewer women study and work in STEM, these fields tend to perpetuate exclusionary, male-dominated cultures that are not supportive of or attractive to women and minorities.
  • Fewer Role Models: Girls have fewer role models to inspire their interest in these fields, with limited examples of female scientists and engineers in books, media and popular culture.

The good news is that new technology is increasingly allowing more space for the empowerment of women. From gender-responsive digital learning to tech-facilitated reproductive healthcare, the digital age we are in represents a new opportunity to make greater strides towards the elimination of inequality.

At NovoPayment, we want women and girls to understand that it is possible to have a successful career in technology. Whether you’re an aspiring developer, programmer, or founder, we hope that female-founded and led organizations such as NovoPayment represent a beacon of inspiration for the next generation.

We are proud and glad to see more women-led tech companies emerging and growing, and we’re confident that, through the efforts of leaders and entities both big and small, this trend will continue as we collectively create a better, more inclusive and equitable future for everyone.

[1] The STEM Gap: Women and Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, AAUW