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IT careers for women appear to be on the rise, going against trends seen in many industries, in which women are still fighting for workplace equality. From lower pay than their male counterparts to a lack of managerial positions, the corporate landscape for women is challenging.
However, the employment gap between males and females appears to be shrinking, as more women are taking advantage of career opportunities in IT. USA Today recently reported that the tech industry has become more woman-friendly in recent years.
The source highlighted the case of Tammy Hawes, the president of Nashville-based tech startup, Virsys12. Of the seven employees at her firm, five are female. Although she noted that gender plays no factor in her hiring procedures, she believes her enterprise is a great example of a wider trend that can be seen across the industry, crediting the proliferation of technology and personal computers in the home over recent decades as the partially responsible for more women entering the industry.
"I think when computers made their way into homes, that changed significantly," Hawes told the source. "Most kids — girls included — are involved in computers now to communicate with their friends and play video games."
Industry diversity creates benefits
Admittedly, there is still a gap between salaries, experience levels, educational histories and job titles for men and women in the industry. However, the source indicated the discrepancy is much less significant for IT jobs than for other professions.
One benefit of having a balanced workplace when it comes to gender is thought diversity, the source outlined. With technology representing such a varied market, having perspectives across genders can be useful in terms of marketing and creating new products and services based on the needs of all backgrounds.
Executive gap still exists
Despite the positive strides women have made in the tech sector, a report from Women In Technology (WIT) noted that women are still lacking in the boardroom.
A WIT survey highlighting the corporate structure of enterprises in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., - a major IT hub - found that more than 37 percent of local firms do not have a female on their boards. In fact, women held only 10 percent of board positions in the region. When it comes to promoting female IT employment, the executive suite may be the next arena for change.