The technology industry has grown exponentially in recent years, with new innovations and breakthroughs being introduced at an unprecedented rate. However, one major problem that has plagued the industry is its lack of diversity, particularly when it comes to women. Women make up just a small percentage of the tech workforce, and this has serious implications not only for the industry itself but for society. This International Women’s Day we are cracking the code of representation in tech.
The Importance of Women & Diversity in Tech
Women are particularly underrepresented in the tech industry. Statista reports that women/female identifying individuals make up 29% of all ICT professionals in Australia, and only 26% of technical ICT professionals. This lack of representation not only has negative implications for women wanting to develop professionally but for the industry itself.
In the Digital Pulse Report for 2021 The Australian Computer Society (ACS) claims that increasing this percentage to 48% female representation in the sector could potentiate $1.8 billion generated each year over the next 20 years on average, resulting in the generation of $11 billion in net present value terms over the period. That’s huge value the untapped female population can offer to the rapidly growing Australian tech industry.
Women bring a unique perspective to the industry, and their input is essential for creating products and services that cater to a wider range of people. Increasing female representation can also help to establish diverse workforces that lead to more innovative ideas and solutions.
Furthermore, women in leadership positions can act as role models and mentors for other women in the industry, helping to address the lack of representation and create a more inclusive culture.
Why do we need diversity in tech?
Diversity in tech is important for several reasons. Firstly, a diverse workforce brings with it a wider range of perspectives and experiences. This can lead to more innovative ideas and solutions, as people from different backgrounds and with different life experiences can approach problems from a variety of angles.
Similarly, to an increase in female representation, building diversity can create business opportunity with the development of products and services that cater to a wider market. If tech maintains a homogenous workforce, it is likely that this will only create products and services that cater to limited groups. This can lead to a lack of inclusivity and accessibility which can be detrimental to society but can also stunt the growth of the industry.
Finally, diversity in tech is important for creating a fair and just society. With the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning-powered solutions and apps like ChatGPT and now medical spin-offs like BioGPT, we will see the harmful effects of bias if diverse population groups are not catered for nor considered for in the continual development of these technologies. It is important we invite all walks of life to the table when developing technologies all society will use in future.
Cracking the code at KJR
“As a STEM-based industry provider, we understand the importance of building Women’s expertise and experience in leadership, not just for their careers but in all aspects of their lives” Andrew Hammond General Manager KJR ACT
This principle belief has guided our commitment to empowering and making equal opportunities for women in tech. We are proud to be supporting and running initiatives:
- Mentor and Leader opportunities for our female consultants- meet our KJR women
- ANUAFC scholarship provides leadership and career development opportunities, both at the football club and as a speaker and ambassador for the ANUAFC, ANU and partners- meet Iman the ANUAFC x KJR scholarship recipient.
- The UC Caps sponsorship allows the Caps women to participate and play in the WNBL on a professional stage while building skills in tech, as employees of KJR that will ensure they’re well-placed to play in the workforce after their professional sports careers.
- IntelliHQ’s Women in AI program.The Young Women Leaders in AI program seeks to address the bias and gender disparity that exists today while guiding young women in their AI careers for tomorrow.