Turning the Tide: How to Attract Women to Work in Technology

By Jessica Camus, Head of Partnerships and Impact at Diginex

The current technological revolution is rapidly transforming the world’s labor force. By 2022, it is estimated that 60% of global GDP will be digitized creating future job opportunities[i]. However, a majority of technology jobs are filled by men and little progress has been made to narrow the gender gap.

– Female workers are outnumbered by men 3 to 1 in science & technology (STEM) industries[ii]
– Around 20% of current STEM graduates in developed countries are women[iii]
– Less than a third of the world’s technical workforce are women[iv]

In recent years, public and private groups have started to address the structural factors behind the gender gap. These include cultural barriers, lack of role models and stereotypes, lower self-confidence in girls and in their career aspirations to work in science and technology. However, statistics alone fail to highlight the great potential that women can contribute to fast growing technology sectors using their wide range of technical and non-technical skills. Many women carry a diverse set of skills which are vital to delivering human-centered products and services.

Focusing on the industry’s gender gap may not be enough to attract female talent to high-growth sectors, and the lack of diversity may even deter them from joining. It’s a common misconception that you must be “techy” to work in tech. Companies must be able to clearly articulate how technology can be used for good. This approach has been proven to attract a more diverse workforce, especially as younger women are drawn to jobs with a sense of purpose.[v]

A major focus of our work at Diginex involves building purpose-driven solutions with technology to help empower female migrant workers. We worked with an anti-slavery group the Mekong Club to build eMin[vi] , the blockchain-based solution that digitizes employment contracts in order to reduce the instances of exploitation amongst migrant workers. We also partnered with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – the United Nations Migration Agency to launch a blockchain-based tool that promotes ethical recruitment practices of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong (almost all of them are women)[vii] . Both these solutions are focused on helping to instill trust, transparency and security in the hiring of migrant workers, where females make up 47.9 percent of the total migrant worker population[viii].

We believe the tide is turning for women to proudly share their wealth of knowledge and skills in this digital economy. By leveraging the technology to focus on its applications and how it can be a solution to a problem rather than its underlying protocols and code, we believe more women will join the digital revolution and thrive!

[i] World Economic Forum. Responsible Digital Transformation – Board Briefing (2019)(link)

[ii] TrustRadius Women in Tech Report. Women in Tech Statistics: The Experiences of Women in the Tech Industry (June 2019) (link)
STEM refers to a group of disciplines in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

[iii] Global Policy. Women in Stem: Critical to Innovation (January 2020) (link)

[iv] World Economic Forum. 5 things we know about the jobs of the future (January 2020) (link)

[v] Center for Creative Leadership. What Do Women Want From Work? (February 2019) (link)

[vi] eMin project website. (link)

[vii] Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department. 2018 (link)

[viii] United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. International Migration 2019. (link)