Opportunities in the Technology Sector That Can Be Taken by Women

Coding jobs represent a unique opportunity for women to exploit their talents and obtain well-paying jobs.

The Woman Post | Ariel Cipolla

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The world needs software development. When it comes to the list of the most in-demand jobs with the best projections for the future, coding always comes up. For example, India Today reports that coding skills will be critical to the future of 21st-century work.

Learning coding means opening new doors to have well-paying jobs and generating job stability since the world constantly needs technological innovations. In addition, there is a wide variety of positions: as there are many languages, you will always be able to specialize in the one you like the most, the one you find easier, and even the one that could provide you with the highest income.

For some years, the software industry was predominantly male. Gradually, many women are starting to become interested in learning some of the different aspects of coding and even have great skills for it. Let's see what this situation implies.

Women and Coding

Contrary to popular belief, in the past women were a very important part of the IT workforce. For example, in the 1995 US, they had 35% representation, while in a latest 2017 survey that number decreased towards 17%, implying a lack of interest from this sector. In any case, in recent years more and more women have become interested in coding, although this decrease in the last decades seemed surprising.

Paradoxically, women seem to have better coding skills. Research by the University of North Carolina found that code written by women was more likely to be approved by their peers than code written by men.

This research was conducted on 3 million pull requests from GitHub, one of the most used code repositories on the planet, where they found that the approval rate of women (78.6%) was higher than that of men (74.6%). Mainly, it was emphasized that women tend to be more detail-oriented and thorough when creating frameworks.

However, why are they currently a minority force? Well, one of the main explanations is education. While millennials grew up surrounded by computers, high school does not generate enough interest for women to learn more than the basics of computer science.

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For example, research from Accenture and Girls Who Code indicates that, by the time they enter college, only 4% of women say they are interested in a computer science program. If they are exposed to computer science and basic code development in high school, that percentage can increase to 18%.

In any case, in recent times there have been important changes in the way computer science is conceived, which may explain why there are more and more women interested in learning to code. Among them, eliminating the prejudice that studying coding is something of a "geek", with characters from TV series like The Big Bang Theory, or a person with little social life. On the contrary: it is now a highly valued profession and is even considered fun.

For example, some schools in the United States are modifying their curricula to offer a working environment that embraces all genders. For example, at the University of Washington, simply changing the decor of classrooms to embrace female tastes has been shown to increase interest in studying coding.

That is to say, contrary to what might happen in other professions, the problem is not the lack of opportunities for companies. In reality, the problem is not knowing how to attract more women to this industry. Although the trends have been favorable recently, there are still many women who do not dare to develop in a field that they unconsciously associate with masculinity.

However, as we have seen, women's skills could allow them to make a difference in the industry. Therefore, to solve the problem of interest, it seems to be key to reduce stereotypes through cultural campaigns, but also to disseminate the benefits of learning a coding language.

Any woman with creativity, logic, and even teamwork can learn to program from home, just by having a computer with an Internet connection. Hundreds of free courses are available in different languages with huge job opportunities, each with different specifications.

For example, if you like a really adaptive language with a great future, you can focus on Python. If you are passionate about web pages, you might need to learn JavaScript. If you are a fan of mobile applications, Kotlin might be your best option. Even if you love video games, you'll probably have to delve into C++.

All these alternatives (and many, many more) are available to you on the Internet. If you want a job with a huge future, high demand, and good salaries, you may have to overcome your prejudices for coding, which can also be a lot of fun. After all, as a woman you can make a difference in the industry... and there will be thousands of female colleagues willing to help you take your first steps.

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