We look around in the Tech Industry and see it: the hallways and cubicles with only a few female faces and the large and undeniable dominance of men.
The underrepresentation of women and girls in IT workforce and education is unfortunately not something new.Regardless of the countless initiatives to bridge the gender gap in the tech world, there is still a lot of work to be done. Too little light has been shed on this problem, and the underlying issue still persists today.
It’s ironic to think now that the first programmer, Ada Lovelace, was a woman. In fact, in the most recent years that programming has come to popularity, women dominated the workplace. They played a big role in shaping the field of computing, and those who are in it today are important players; but since then, the gender gap has steadily grown.
What happened along the way?
When personal computers were introduced into Filipino homes and offices, they were marketed as a pastime – for boys. When IT education was presented to girls, societal notions of the IT world being a “boys’ club” often encourage girls to take on another path.
All of these is despite a study by Quantopian, a trading platform based on crowdsourced algorithms, showing that companies led by women perform three times better than those led by men.
Women today hold only 25% in the total percentage of computing professions. Senior high students who express interest in STEM are 74%, but those who decide to be software engineers are only 16% of that. It’s undeniable that these girls are deterred.
At the very basic level, getting a proactive view of what the future of the workforce could bring should start early on.
Information failures affect the decision of young girls to enter and stay in STEM fields. If young girls are to take advantage of the underlying opportunities present in the IT industry in the future, the foundation for their STEM careers needs to be laid today.
The problem is not that women are not capable of having an enormous supply of ideas, to create and to code, or to provide ingenious IT solutions to the world today.
We have come to know Isabel Sieh, a Filipino 13-year old girl who became the founder of Girls Will Code. We have come to know Jean Yang, the Innovator Under 35 who invented her own programming language with privacy baked in.
No, the problem is not that young girls and women are not capable.
The problem is this: they have not been shown a consistent and forthright way on why they should become IT specialists in the first place.
Women make up half the workforce, but their roles in IT are few and too far between. This problem isn’t only rampant in the IT world, but it’s become very evident in other industries as well.
The Guardian recently published an article stating that female finance specialists working in the top financial institutions are paid only half as much as men. An article by Forbes showed that women in Hollywood with lead roles are paid less than their male counterparts.
What, then, will it really take to make industries more diverse?
In the same effort as how women in Hollywood come together to support Time’s Up for gender parity, we also want to close the gender gap and push back the struggle for equal pay in the IT industry with Syntactics, PINK.
The Syntactics PINK team consists of Stephanie Caragos (CEO of Syntactics, Inc), Pam Salon (Sales Lead, Syntactics PINK), Alaiza Maandig (Web Assistant Engineering Lead), Marie Bulosan (Business Apps Developer ), Cindy Sareno (Web Developer), Juvilyn Algones (Web Developer), and Jane Lumacang (Marketing Lead, Syntactics PINK) – 7 women working together towards advancing fellow women in IT.
We as a team are passionate about providing a broad-based strategy that sparks and sustains women’s interest in computing, about helping women with limited exposure to computer science acquire deep knowledge about it, and we are passionate about recognizing and counteracting bias.
We want to break the barrier, and we want to break the gender gap – which is why we created Syntactics Pink.
Syntactics PINK is an all women coding community. PINK stands for Promoting Innovation and Networking Knowledge. It indulges in different technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, software development, and even IT standards to increase and equalize the ratio between male and female developers.
While we recognize that our efforts might not make everything right immediately, we believe that if it is widely adopted and if others will follow suit, we can accelerate the number of women in Tech and finally close the gender gap.
We hope you partner with us on our passion project. If you want to know the latest news, updates, and if exciting events come up, please sign up for our newsletter here.