Technology: A Future Path For Young Professionals
Technology has been one of the fastest growing and most innovative fields in recent years, and the demand for qualified professionals in this sector continues to increase around the world, keeping pace with this evolution. However, this is a traditionally male-dominated industry, which makes it challenging for women to feel represented and motivated to enter this career. A recent McKinsey & Company study of over 60 million workers in Europe shows that only 22% of European women hold technology positions.
However, this trend is already changing and there is a growing awareness of the importance of gender diversity in Technology. And on this date when we celebrate the World Day of Women in ICT, it becomes even more important to think about how young women can consider a career in technology and join those who are working to make this industry more inclusive and representative.
But why isn’t this still a career of choice for young women? Even today, women still don’t choose Technology, primarily because of the lack of female role models in the industry, feeling unrepresented and lacking possibilities for professional growth. In addition to this, there are traditional and cultural issues, since many times the education and socialization of girls and women keep them away from mathematics and exact sciences from an early age, which can hinder their interest and performance in this area. It is thus still common to think that boys will have more aptitude for technical areas and girls for the humanities, something that is, of course, wrong.
However, this is a career that can be attractive to young girls, as it offers a wide range of opportunities. From software development to Cybersecurity or leading IT companies, there are many areas where they can excel and succeed. It’s important that future professionals also know that there are many resources available to support them in their journey towards a career in technology, such as support groups or mentoring, as is the case of Geek Girls Portugal, a community that was born to boost women’s entry into technology, and, As Raparigas do Código, a community that aims to create learning opportunities for young girls and women.
On the one hand, the technical skills that women acquire when working in technology are also highly valued and transferable to other fields, which means that career opportunities become wider and more varied. On the other hand, technology also tends to be, because of its inherent talent scarcity, well paid and offer many opportunities for professional growth. According to a LinkedIn report, women working in technology have a 27% higher promotion rate than professionals in other industries.
The fact that this sector is highly innovative and constantly changing is another reason that makes it differentiating for young professionals. In technology, professionals are constantly challenged with new knowledge and skills in order to stay up to date with the latest trends and new technologies. This continuous learning mindset can be extremely rewarding and help them achieve their career goals.
Finally, a career in technology can be particularly empowering. It is also up to the leaders to use their expertise to help shape the future of technology. In addition, these professionals can become role models and mentors to other young women who are interested in pursuing the same career, fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity.
It’s true, entering a career in technology can be intimidating, especially for young women who still don’t see themselves represented in this industry, but the more women are connected to the field, the more we can balance the scales of equality. Together, we can work to make technology more accessible and inclusive, creating a better future for everyone, without exception.
Joana Linhas, vice-presidente da Porto Tech Hub
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