The Importance of Hiring Women in Technology
By keldad on January 18, 2011
From Internet World Business/Switzerland - January 2011
Take a look at this picture. These faces abounded, over six editorial pages, within Internet World Businesses most recent issue - highlighting the faces and names rocking the tech scene in Switzerland. Notice anything funny?
We'll tell you what it is: Save for ONE - on a different page - these are all men.
Now, we have nothing against men. Our company is also mostly male. But we do have two women on our team, and often work with female freelancers. This practice of engaging women enriches our operation, and offers a fresh perspective in the office. And we are not just talking about the decor.
Outdated notions about women are just that: out-dated (but for kicks, check out this link for a hilarious 1943 guide to hiring women). According to a recent US government report, it is estimated that women account for more than half the world's output, and by 2025, the number of women in the workforce will surpass that of men. In the US alone, women already hold 49.1 per cent of the nation’s jobs, and more than half of college and university students are female. In Asia, the female labour force participation has been growing steadily over the last five years. Nonetheless, more can be done to encourage women, particularly those who have been out of the workforce, to come back to work. For example - opening up realms they may not naturally explore. Like TECHNOLOGY.
Technology is not boring. Sure, everyone wants to work in fashion because Hollywood conveniently places all heroines in the heart of the NY publishing industry. But open your eyes a bit and check out start ups. Facebook, Ebay, Google - they are supremely cool. You could be part of that next big thing. The idealism and creativity in this industry are infectious - and could blow your mind.
We hope that with examples like Google's Marissa Meyer, or with High-Tech former CEOs like Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman and their rising profiles, this will change over time. They are few and far between. I recently watched an excellent ted.com presentation by the Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, on "Why we have too few women leaders". She makes some excellent points:http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders.html. We must heed to these and work on opening our own minds.
For now, we chuckle at the fact that on the bottom right hand corner of the above picture, there's an ad for a webmaster course...featuring a majority of women. Perhaps they're out of touch. Or maybe- they can see the future.
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