As I explained in a previous blog post, gender diversity can be highly beneficial to business. An assertion which is even more valid for the tech industry, even though women, ironically enough, are still painfully underrepresented there. That lack of female representation is not just a question of professional representativeness, however. Since digital technology is at the heart of the transformation of our society, it has also very much become a broader societal issue.
To quote our CEO, Vincent Paris: “Gender diversity is important for us at Sopra Steria, but I think it’s more generally a societal issue we have before us.” Indeed, gender diversity in the workplace is not merely a great tool of productivity. It also constitutes an important step towards the empowerment and emancipation of women throughout society: the women we work with, our colleagues and employees, but also our partners, our customers, up to our customers’ end users.
Empowering women with financial independence
Working towards gender diversity in the IT industry, specifically, allows more women to embrace a career in a sector that is not only growing in size and scale, both in financial and organizational terms, but also in importance. We want to encourage them to give our high-growth sector, so full of promise and opportunity, a try without being put off by gender bias or stereotypes.
By hiring women in IT, we also offer them the assurance of a steady, well-paid job with a lot of growth potential in an ever-evolving industry. Nowadays, not only the pay gap between men and women is still a reality, but women are also still more likely to get part-time, temporary or low-paid jobs. This makes it harder for them to achieve economic progress and reach (full) financial independence.
Equal access to IT
Ultimately, whether or not they work in the tech industry, all women ought to be involved - or at least represented - at all levels of the conception and creation process for the technological tools they use in their everyday lives, both privately and professionally. Nowadays, not being able to use those tools – not to mention lacking a say in their development - causes economic and social disparities that women tend to suffer more from than men. And that inability is not “simply” due to the fact (or rather: the assumption?) that fewer girls and women are interested in “technical stuff” in the first place. The fact that a lot of technological tools are still being designed by all-male teams, from an exclusively male point of view and thinking only about male customers, is at least as much to blame for that inability, if not more.
In a world where it’s getting harder and harder to do anything, from your tax declaration to banking operations, without using the Internet or an app, it’s nothing less than a social and human statement to work towards solutions that don’t create inequalities between people, giving girls and boys, men and women equal access to IT instead.
At Sopra Steria, we are convinced that increased participation of women in the technology sector will not only boost the economy but also allow for the full participation of women in society. In my next blog post I will explain how our local initiative DiversiTeam is helping to achieve that goal.