Stats Show the Percentage of Women in Tech is Falling. Good Mentors and Good Storytelling Could Reverse This Trend

Progress toward workplace diversity, especially in tech, is riddled with ups and downs. While some studies show women have taken on more leadership roles in the industry in the last 3 to 4 years, other studies show a longer-term decline. A recent report from Accenture paints a pressing challenge: the percentage of women in tech is falling and has been falling for the last 35 years. Another 2022 report from Zippia backed up this trend, showing less than 27% of computing-related jobs were held by women, down from 31% in 1990. What will it take to make changes in workplace culture and hiring practices to make long-term progress for women in tech?

All is not lost. According to perspectives from women in leadership, there’s no one easy solution and instead an ecosystem of layered changes that need to happen inside and outside the workplace to create more opportunities for women in tech. With more equal opportunities from childhood, accessible and affordable childcare, and more women in leadership roles to act as mentors, tech would likely benefit from a more natural influx of women into the industries. Beyond championing the social cause, companies stand to benefit by improving these statistics — those with better gender diversity, for instance, tend to perform better than their counterparts. A 2018 report on diversity found that a company that valued inclusivity was actually two times more likely to meet or even surpass its financial targets.

In the wake of massive industry layoffs, it’s more important than ever for the tech industry to reevaluate its approach to encouraging the best talent, including women and other underrepresented groups, to join and bolster the industry. In honor of Women’s History Month, Kristel Kruustük, who co-founded Testlio, a software testing company with a female workforce of over 45%, shares her advice for encouraging women in tech, and recounts the experiences that helped make a career in the industry feel possible.

Kristel’s Thoughts

“March is Women’s History Month, and the theme for this year, for 2023, is to recognize other women around us who tell their stories or who have told their stories throughout history, to inspire, educate, and entertain others around them.

I started Testlio more than 10 years ago. [I] was working as a freelance software tester, and I became incredibly frustrated about my experiences working on different online platforms. As I started doing my research, I found that there are no solutions to my problems, so I decided to start Testlio.

Now, it’s been more than 10 years, and I have told the story of Testlio throughout the years in hopes to inspire others around me to take action. [I] decided to take action in my life because of another woman in my life who inspired me to take action, and this woman [was] my sister. In 2008, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was about to graduate high school, and she had an international career at the time — She was traveling the world and she was financially independent. She was an independent woman. She was working in tech, so I spent the summer with her in London, and she strongly encouraged me to start my journey in the tech sector.

Despite all the stereotypes and misconceptions I had in my mind about the tech industry, I decided to go for it. So, that’s why telling those stories and telling those stories of people who inspire us, is super important because you never know how it can make a difference.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day invites us to embrace equity, and equity means that we take [part in] creating an inclusive work environment for everybody. Making an impact is one of our core values at Testlio, and I feel that we really honor that by creating an inclusive workplace. Our team is more than 45% of women, and Testlio is distributed by design. Today, we have more than 200 employees working for us globally. [The] distributed design team concept really creates more and more opportunities for women around the world. So, today I would like to take this opportunity and celebrate all the women around the world, and let everyone know that we are all about fostering inclusion at Testlio and challenging gender stereotypes. So, we will continue embracing equity not only today, but every day. Happy International Women’s Day.”

Article written by Aarushi Maheshwari.

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