Women are increasingly gaining ground in the technology industry. A survey conducted last year by LinkedIn shows that between 2008 and 2016, the number of women in leadership positions in the technology industry increased by 18%.
There has also been an increase in women in other occupations in the field. The User Experience Designer role, for example, saw a 67% female increase, while Web Developer grew by 43%. Frontend Developer saw a 19% increase in the rate of women employed.
Even so, the sector is still unequal. Data from UN Women Brazil, reveal that women are out of the main jobs generated by the digital revolution, with only 18% of them having a degree in Computer Science and are currently only 25% of the digital industry workforce.
"Seventy-four percent of girls express interest in the field of science, technology, math and engineering. But the fact is that only 30% of the world's researchers are women," says Adriana Carvalho, manager of the Economic Empowerment Principles at UN Women Brazil.
The answer against this came from women themselves, who created programs to encourage girls and women in the world of technology. Get to know eight of these initiatives:
The company provides technological services such as computer maintenance, technical support, backup and formatting, cleaning, website and application development, and consulting on technology and innovation, among other activities. The difference is that all the work is done by women, mainly black, and minority participants.
The idea came when founder Buh D' Angelo, who has a degree in maintenance technician, robotics, electronics, and industrial automation, realized that because she was a woman, black, and of low social class, she would not have the same chances of success in multinational companies.
In 2015, she started repairing laptops and doing hardware and software maintenance, with the service being advertised via social media. As the service began to increase, she teamed up with Fernanda Monteiro, who has over 20 years of experience in the technology market, but suffered prejudice after her gender transition. Since then, the company has presented projects for Microsoft Brazil, Campus Party and recently was qualified to represent Brazil at the G20 in Berlin.
Women Up Games
The Game Brazil 2017 survey, conducted every year by interactive technology agency Sioux, revealed that women are the majority when it comes to video games, with 56.6% of players in the country being female. Despite this, women still suffer prejudice in the industry.
With this in mind, Ariane Parra created Women Up Games, an organization that promotes the inclusion of women in the gaming world through lectures, corporate events, women's championships, and game development events.
This international group aims to attract women to the IT field through the Python programming language. The organization has 23 representatives in several Brazilian cities that teach free Python courses from basic to more advanced content.
According to the PyLadies São Paulo team, all women who participate in the courses are called to be tutors, even if they are not yet experts. "They already know the content and can answer basic questions, and have the opportunity to attend the class again. In a future course, those who have already been monitors are invited to teach the class.
Demand for the courses is so great that some are sold out in less than 10 minutes. According to data from the PyLadies São Paulo group, the record was 40 places in 9 minutes. "We have the case of a student who, in five months from the first basic course, was a monitor, a teacher, and got a job as a developer. She became a reference for other students. If she can do it, we all can.
Although women are increasingly present in the areas of technology, science, mathematics, and engineering, these environments are still very male-dominated. In 2015, for example, of the 330 entrants to USP's Computer Science courses, only 38 were women.
To change this job market profile, Ariane Cor, Bárbara Paes, and Fernanda Balbino got together to create Minas Programam. A project that offers programming courses for women and that are taught by women.
"Until the 80's it was common to have women programming, but when technology became a central focus of the economy, it ended up becoming a male environment," says Bárbara, who still explains that women are not encouraged to be interested in the area.
The group argues that technology is used in all sectors of life and that, for this reason, this should be a plural environment to ensure democratic solutions. "If women had participated in the creation of social networks, tools to combat virtual sexual harassment would have already been created," exemplifies Barbara.
Many of the programming initiatives for women arose because women themselves felt it was difficult to enter the field. This is how PrograMaria came about, which organizes workshops, events, and technical training courses for women who want to get started in the programming world.
Since its creation, the project has held more than ten workshops and three editions of the I Program Course, which trained 90 women, and a Summit, which brought together more than 130 women to discuss the place of women in technology.
"The students, after they go through the course, they not only feel motivated to enter the field, but they realize all the potential they have as women and professionals," says Iana Chan, founder of the program. "The greatest impact that a course like ours brings to women is that they see for themselves the maxim that a woman's place is where she wants to be.
Credits/Source: Juliana Américo, Olhar Digital