Speak With A Geek challenges sexism in technology

By Sumit Modi

San Francisco-based recruitment agency, Speak With A Geek, is using its substantial voice within the industry to raise awareness about the challenges faced by women in technology.

The agency wants to provide a deeper analysis into the subject of female representation – or lack thereof – in technology.

Only around 18 percent of computer science degree holders are women, and a recent study of Github users showed that code change suggestions made by women are more likely to be accepted, but only if their gender is hidden – otherwise, the acceptance rate decreases, proving the bias.

Annie Ryan, Director of Diversity & Inclusion at SWAG, said that micro-aggressions towards women are pervasive the technology sector. Other factors, such as inflexible schedules and a shortage of female mentors, exacerbate these difficulties.

Ryan said: “Beginning almost at birth, girls receive subtle messaging that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are not for them. Everything from gendered toys, stereotypical advertisements, and even the subtle suggestions by parents and teachers can steer girls in directions outside of STEM subjects.

“For those women who do manage to overcome these obstacles to find employment in the industry, the challenges don’t end there. Women entering the technology space are 45 percent more likely than their male peers to leave the field within a year.

Grant Conyers, Executive Vice President at SWAG, added: “By bringing attention to these phases of bias, we hope to inspire solutions in the industry. Everyone should be presented with equal opportunities.”


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