Thomas Huxley once said that the rungs on a ladder were not meant to stand on, but only to serve as a temporary pause as one moves upward in life. Many women in the technology field have been steadily climbing the ladder to successful careers in engineering and the sciences. Unfortunately, for some, the rungs have proven slippery and their careers have been cut short. To begin with, women account for less than 20% of those enrolled in technology related degree programs. Following graduation, and entering the field, they are faced with a myriad of issues that gradually reduce the percentage of women professionals in technology. Gender issues, inequity of pay, and family issues all play a role in the declining percentage.
To assist in stopping this decline, the institutions and organizations that women are employed with must work to provide sturdy “rungs” to allow women the opportunity for upward mobility. Equity is the key…equity in early guidance, equity in education, and equity in the workplace. By providing this equity, women may be more likely to remain in the field and help meet the growing demand for professionals in technology.
Dr Jane – from the Café