Future of Workplaces with Women Thriving in Technology

Over the past few years, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) has picked up considerably making India one of the few nations to produce the highest number of engineers and scientists. As per World Bank Data, in 107 of 114 economies, there are fewer females than male STEM graduates. Worldwide, 18 per cent of girls in tertiary education are pursuing STEM studies compared to 35 per cent of boys. The good part is that STEM is no more just a trendy hashtag but has shaped into a movement, encouraging more women to explore newer opportunities in the field of science and technology.

The scenario in India has drastically improved with almost 43 per cent of the total graduates in STEM being women. It is one of the highest in the world despite the fact that there is only 14 percent of engineers, scientists and technologists in research development institutions and universities.

How More Women in STEM Roles can make a Difference

A strong STEM foundation provides girls or women with unique skill sets that enhance their ability to be creative and global problem solvers. It gives women access to a broader range of careers, helps them think critically about information and data and they become well-positioned to not only be smart consumers of technological advances but also to be the creators of the same.

The skills learned through STEM classes make women potential candidates for a wide range of careers. These skills also referred to as computational thinking, focus on creative, logical and complex problem-solving—skills that employers nowadays are increasingly seeking in potential new hires. In a world that is gradually becoming more automated and dependent on technology, having such skills is now an expectation for almost every possible career choice.

Also, with more women taking up STEM roles, the female under-representation in STEM roles which is still prevalent is witnessing a sudden transformation. Women who are successful in STEM roles are proving to be role models, especially those at the board and senior management level, motivating other women to actively consider qualifications and careers in STEM industries as something they can, and should be, pursuing. This is also helping address the issue of gender inequality at work.

Additionally, STEM organisations gain from increased female participation because girls or women bring with them different viewpoints and experiences – and a greater degree of empathy – enabling the benefits of innovation, research and technology development to reach a much wider part of society. Considering the global complex issues presently plaguing the world, there needs to be a diverse set of voices and ideas present to push innovation forward. The benefits of increasing women’s access to STEM education are mutually beneficial for women and for the STEM field. Research has revealed that although there are no differences in mathematics and science cognitive abilities between girls and boys, there is a considerable difference in the capacity for empathy between genders—it’s higher for women. Building empathy is the most important step of the design thinking process—one that is frequently used by scientists and engineers to solve complex problems. What women can contribute to the STEM field goes isn’t just diversification, they are capable of driving forward innovation and progress in STEM through their unique abilities.

Tackling the talent shortage gap also requires increasing female representation in STEM. As per Huawei within a global ICT talent shortage of 200 million people, the top ten hardest jobs to fill are STEM roles. So, more involvement of women in STEM fields is certainly going to address the global shortage of talent.

Final Say

The ripple effect of bringing in more women into STEM roles reach far and wide. Science, technology and engineering are the keys to the future of the planet and women must take their rightful place in building that new future.