Gender equality is at the forefront again because of for International Women’s Day 2023 on 8 March. We interviewed three RSM students from the board of the Erasmus Tech Community and asked them particularly about gender equality in technology and digital careers. Check out what they said about gender equality issues and their thoughts on how we can bring change to this industry.
My name is Thao Le and I’m studying MSc Strategic Management. My role in the Erasmus Tech Community is operations manager. This means that I am responsible for the operational aspects before, during and after our events.
I think that many tech-related fields are still mainly male dominated. Women are still lacking representation.
Probably because of a lack of representation or encouragement geared towards girls.
I think it starts at a young age. We have to actively abolish stereotypes about boys and girls. Popular examples for that are ‘video games are for boys and girls suck at them’ or ‘boys are better at maths’. This can discourage girls from liking tech-related topics because of these negative perspectives.
My name is Monica Petrangeli and I am currently in my second year of RSM’s BSc International Business Administration. Within the Erasmus Tech Community, I have the role of Director of Operations and Innovations. My responsibilities lie within the logistics aspects and researching interesting topics for our events and workshops.
There is still a vastly spread misconception that tech roles are ‘for men’. Even today, this unfortunately influences the educational choices women take – it’s often seen in recently published research. In 2022, there is still a large gender gap in students of computer and engineering studies.
Because of this issue's low exposure. Despite the many initiatives that have occurred over the years to encourage women to enter the tech industry there is still a lack of female role models in a male-dominated workplace. Furthermore, the low percentages of females within the tech industry have not yet been recognised as significant as it is by the public, throwing a shadow on it rather than a light.
I think that exposure is key in encouraging women and girls to be interested in working in tech. Especially during the years of education, schools should focus on creating a safe environment in which every student, male or female, is encouraged to follow their interests in any field. This could be done through information sessions with outside speakers from the tech industry who can share all the wonderful details of their roles to spark enthusiasm.
Workshops would be helpful too, by allowing students to try their hands at the different skills required in the tech industry.
Overall, the education sector should aim to raise students’ knowledge of not only the tech industry and its roles but of all industries to ensure that students will make an informed decision when choosing which educational path to follow.
My name is Risa Yamazaki. I am currently studying for the MScBA Business Analytics and Management at RSM, and I am a director of marketing for the Erasmus Tech Community. The roles I am responsible for are tasks and progress management for marketing planning, contact with external parties for the marketing projects, and directions and supervisions for the integration of data-driven and creative approaches in planning and implementation of marketing strategies.
I have been observing such a volatile transition period from patriarchal industries into a ‘better’ way of maintaining institutions, which includes the topic of gender equality. However, because it is not the superficial transition in rules but an attempt to achieve a significant reconstruction in the definition and comprehension of ‘better’, we have seen a conflict of different ideologies just about every day. The fundamental systematic change for institutions – or even in the scale of tech industries – means that collective action by a bigger party of people from different social or biological backgrounds but with aligned values is necessary. As long as all people (and here what I mean is absolutely everyone) are facing in two different directions, ideal gender equality might not come.
A lack of women role models to look up could be the reason why. Despite there being an increase in the number of women joining the tech industry, many of them are still not in managerial or administrative positions. This might make young talented women feel like they’re in a minority, and might even mean they feel there are no possibilities for getting into these positions in future due to gender stereotypes and institutional discrimination.
Creating role models in real life would inspire more young talented women. Role models should not be restricted to famous people. For example, mothers or having women technology teachers. I believe that those examples would eliminate concerns and emotional obstacles to join the tech force.