Growth in numbers of women in STEM

I think back to my time in University.  Studying electrical and computer engineering in the US ten years ago was not a major that had very many women in. When I graduated, that percentage was lower. But the growth I do see, be it a slow one, on the education side is encouraging and is the first step to get more women entering these areas in the workforce.

That said, I think culturally we are at an inflection point in terms of the gender role culture. While it was rare for women to work back in my parent’s generation, it is uncommon for women to not go to higher education or into the workforce today.

The challenge the modern woman has in the workforce is the expectation to do and be EVERYTHING. After all, inflection points can be hard to spot and are even more difficult to manoeuvre. Successful women should be beautiful, fit and fashionable, working at a high paying job with well-behaved kids living in a designer, always clean home with dinner home-cooked on the table every night.  They should be able to do everything their mums did on top of doing the same job as men. And it’s impossible.

There is a double standard that makes it difficult for women to have the confidence to achieve more senior positions. I look to my peers, many working full-time, married with kids and are seemingly so put together. But I also see others, working full time, but completely burnt out with the joys of very young kids and a household to manage. I still see many of my female friends that are full time mums. The role of the woman has changed but the workforce has not. At least not all workforces.

 

Intel are pioneering the push for women in STEM

Intel has the same challenges as other many other technology companies, mostly because women graduating with interest in tech is still quite low.

The gender divide in tech is getting better, but there’s still room to make it easier and to create a better norm for future generations of women.

Until that 12% changes, a lot needs to be done. But I’m lucky enough to work at a company whose president, previous chairman of the board of directors, and dozens of executives including our CIO and senior VPs and GMs are female.

Intel also has incredible diversity policies and working programs to make women travel the inflection point easier. Even though we jokingly known for our strict work culture, Intel promotes flexible work and embraces remote working which are great for parents.

In the UK, Intel is a strong supporter of initiatives like WISE and our IT department has donated thousands of volunteer hours to promote coding to local schools.  We are role modelling the change needed and I’m proud to be part of such a forward thinking company.

The gender divide in tech is getting better, but there’s still room to make it easier and to create a better norm for future generations of women.