Technology-related careers are among the most in-demand in the country, yet historically, there haven't been many women employed in this field.
Only 16% of engineering roles and 27% of computing occupations are held by women nationwide, according to a survey by Girls Who Code and Accenture, and this percentage is predicted to decrease over the course of the next decade.
More women are needed in this field, says Dell Technologies operations manager Chenise Upshur. She stresses the importance of reaching gender parity for the continued success of the tech industry, and the initiatives that can be taken to help open doors for more women to enter this field.
Arouse curiosity in students
The National Science Foundation reports that women make up only 19% of students enrolled in high school AP computer classes, making it crucial for female students to maintain interest in school. Few female students continue STEM subjects in upper grades.
Dell Technologies' STEM Aspire initiative, which pairs female STEM students with female mentors who work at Dell, was created with the goal of fostering mentorship. The Align program at Northwestern University, which assists women and underrepresented minorities from fields other than information technology (IT) who are seeking master's degrees in computer science, is also supported by Dell. Dell has offered financial assistance, mentorship, and co-op roles within the organization.
Keep more parents employed in tech jobs
For parents to continue on their current job paths, flexible work options are crucial. According to data published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, about half of new mothers quit their full-time STEM careers. Through Dell's funding to the Diapers to Diplomas program to encourage degree completion, 128 grant recipients get 200 diapers every month.
Prior to the pandemic, Dell's IT Team Member Experience business (TMX) had been working to create a remote-first strategy for offering its consumers IT services. For the past two years, Dell has been able to ease the transition to work-from-home status and provide working parents with the freedom they need to advance in their professions.
In addition to showing how appealing tech jobs are for working parents, this model boosts employee retention, which is important for bridging the gender pay gap.
Ensure that your workforce is gender-equitable
Accountability and change begin at the top. To achieve a more diverse and gender-representative workforce, IT leaders must set reasonable goals and monitor their progress.