According to national studies, women hold more than 50 percent of all jobs in the United States but less than 24 percent of all computing-related jobs, which represents an enormous pool of talent that is missing in the computing world. According to the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, the number of women getting involved in technology was severely on the decline. In 1985, women obtained 37 percent of all Computer Science degrees. In 2008, this number was nearly cut in half as women only obtained 18 percent of all Computer Science degrees.
In 2010, that number increased by only 2 percent to 20 percent according to American Association of University Women. Sure, that’s an increase from 2008, but minimal at best. These numbers truly caught me by surprise and prompted me to find out why there are not more women in technology today. Here are some of my findings.
1) Girls are not encouraged at a very early age and on an ongoing basis to enjoy science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In 2009, 56% of the students taking AP tests were girls, yet only 18% of the students taking the computer science exam were female. (Women in Technology Foundation)
2) Women are not being exposed to technology-related jobs and are not informed about the benefits of having a technical background on a woman’s career. (Forbes Interview)
3) Technical women in management positions are likely to be viewed as less technically competent than their male peers. (Clayman Institute for Gender Research)
I don’t know if there is any right answer to understanding why the ratio of women to men in technology is so low, but I am certain that the technology world is missing out due to this great disparity.
In my own experience as an editor who covers BI, I read numerous BI articles and I have found that despite the disproportionately low number of women in technology, many of the articles that I’ve read were authored by women. In BI, the works of women have provided great insight and thought leadership to the BI community and I personally want to list nine of the the top women writers who have helped shape my view on BI.
1) Betsy Mikel is the managing editor of Women 2.0, a community-driven media brand designed for the next generation of technology leader, and a freelance copywriter whose passion is telling the stories of entrepreneurs, brands and businesses that challenge the status quo. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and a lifelong obsession with French language and culture.
2) Cindi Howson is the founder of BI Scorecard, an in-depth BI product reviews resource based on exclusive hands-on testing. She has been advising clients on BI tool selections and strategies for more than 20 years. She is the author of Successful Business Intelligence: Unlock the Value of BI and Big Data and SAP Business Objects BI 4.0: The Complete Reference. Cindi is a faculty member of The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) and a contributing expert to InformationWeek. She has an MBA from Rice University.
3) Claudia Imhoff, Ph.D., is the president and founder of Intelligent Solutions, a consultancy on CRM and business intelligence technologies and strategies. She is a popular speaker and internationally recognized expert and serves as an advisor to many corporations, universities and leading technology companies. She has coauthored five books and more than 50 articles on these topics. She is also the Founder of Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of independent consultants and analysts.
4) Fern Halper, Ph.D., is Director of TDWI Research for Advanced Analytics, focusing on predictive analytics, social media analysis, text analytics, cloud computing, and other “big data” analytics approaches. She has more than 20 years of experience in data and business analysis, and has published many articles on data mining and information technology. Halper is co-author of “Dummies” books on cloud computing, hybrid cloud, service-oriented architecture, service management, and big data.
5) Joanna Schloss is a subject matter expert in the Dell Center of Excellence specializing in data and information management. Her areas of expertise include big data analytics, business intelligence, business analytics, and data warehousing. With a mixture of experience in both startup and G500 environments, Joanna has successfully launched numerous products, from business-focused analytic applications to data warehousing tools such as Business Objects Data Services. Within the Dell Center of excellence, she helps clients deal with the challenges of managing multiple data platforms, applications systems, and analytic environments.
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6) Julie Koesmarno is a SQL Server MVP and holds Microsoft Certified Solution Expert certifications in both Data Platform and in Business Intelligence for SQL Server 2012. She has worked on high profile database system implementations using SQL Server for over 8 years in Australia for the Telecommunications, Finance, and Internet industries. Julie has worked with various types of databases from MySQL, to Oracle, to Microsoft SQL Server. She has also spent a great deal of time implementing data management, data staging and data cleansing systems. She currently consults for LobsterPot Solutions and is the founder of the blog Ms. SQL Girl.
7) Lillian Pierson is a humanitarian, data scientist, journalist, and author. She is Founder and Chief Data Scientist at Data-Mania, an information services business. Through Data-Mania, Lillian works in data visualization, data journalism, and growth hacking. She has a US professional engineering license and graduated from the University of Central Florida.
8) Lyndsay Wise is the President and Founder of WiseAnalytics, an independent analyst firm specializing in business intelligence, master data management and unstructured data. For more than seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay conducts regular research studies, writes articles and speaks about increasing the value of business intelligence within organizations.
9) Martha Bennett serves the Application Development & Delivery role at Forrester, covering business intelligence (BI), analytics, and big data. Martha has over 20 years of technology experience and has held a number of senior positions involving the investigation of new technologies and their introduction to the enterprise. Her main focus has been helping her clients make sense of the impact of new and emerging technologies on existing IT systems and business processes, as well as the security, risk, and regulatory implications. Martha earned an M.A. in English literature, American studies, and modern history from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany.