Only 7% of students taking computer science A-level courses are female. Just half of the girls that study IT & Tech subjects at school go into a job in the same field.
Why in news?
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), India kicked start a collaborative industry initiative to address the sharp lack of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers via new forum called ‘WomeninTech,’ which aims to address the gap at various levels through a multi-pronged approach.
What is the forum all about?
The forum has been designed “to help accelerate the national agenda of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and further to work in alignment with the UN’s focus area in 2018 – ‘Turning promises into action’,
Representation of women in STEM (Statistical figures):
According to the World Bank, women make up 40 per cent of the world’s workforce. Yet, the tech field is notoriously male-dominated at all levels and fares considerably worse that non-technology industries, as per the website PayScale.
Tech industry has been the fifth largest contributor to the nation’s GDP, and the Information Technology and IT-enabled Service sector alone is posed to create approximately 2.5-3 million new jobs by 2025. The sector ought to be in a strong position to attract qualified women talent, yet frequently levels with merely 10 – 15 per cent female workforce.
While studies continuously corroborate a strong business case for inclusion of more women in tech for enhanced profitability and innovativeness, the percent continues to be low and the pipeline often inconsistent and unavailable.
What will be the steps taken under the initiative:
The starting point of WomenInTech would be to target 100,000 women through different approaches.
A part of it would be to work with young school going girls in tier one and tier two cities, by introducing coding games and meeting with the parents, especially the mothers.
Another area of emphasis would be to empower and increase the employability of women in technology careers by promoting constant upskilling — especially after sabbaticals — that can ensure a definitive career path leading to senior roles.
To build an independent corpus of funds, in collaboration with education NGOs, to sponsor the tertiary education of at least three young women to begin with from economically weak backgrounds in the field of engineering to top universities in the United States and United Kingdom.
Problems faced by women:
Lack of mentoring and lack of female role models are two of the most quoted barriers that women in technology workspace identify.
This initiative is aimed to boost up representation of women in STEM with a goal to make the platform gender-neutral.