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Tech industry needs to break down gender barriers to fill future jobs
It recent months a discussion has been created in the tech industry. The tech industry lacks women employees, it is believed. This is despite the contributions that they have made, are making and will continue to make in the field. - photo by Matthew Jelalian
The tech industry needs to change its culture that has not been inviting for women, some observers say, if it wants to fill a projected growth in jobs.

According to the industry group, computing jobs will more than double by 2020, to 1.4 million, the Los Angeles Times reported. If women continue to leave the field, an already dire shortage of qualified tech workers will grow worse. Last summer, Google, Facebook, Apple and other big tech companies released figures showing that men outnumbered women 4 to 1 or more in their technical sectors.

Katherine Sierra was a former skateboarder and programmer who wrote an op-ed piece for Wired comparing the two cultures. She said the tech field isnt nearly as merit-based as it claims to be.

A meritocracy is exactly what I and so many others believed tech to be, wrote Sierra. After all, I wrote nearly a decade ago, the compiler doesnt care if the person writing the code is wearing a black lace bra. I was wrong. Embarrassingly, naively wrong.

According to Sierra, techs lack of women is due to the industry promoting the idea that computers are for men.

But others point to progress in battling sexism in the tech industry.

It used to be that when the media wrote about Silicon Valley, they repeated the myth of meritocracy, wrote Vivek Wadhwa, an academic who has written over 75 articles on the subject of women in tech, in the Washington Post. These days, its understood that sexism exists in the technology industry. Thanks to years of work by brave, vocal women who have consistently and eloquently raised the issue, we have made progress.

Although Forbes reported that only 26 percent of tech jobs are filled by women and just 18 percent of computer science majors were women, the magazine also reported that women nonetheless are making a difference in tech.

Forbes interviewed Mary Spio, a deep-space engineer and author of the book "Its Not Rocket Science: Seven Game-Changing Traits for Uncommon Success," who credited the resurgence of women in the industry to technology becoming essential to everyday living and problem-solving that makes everyone to some extent is a "techie."

Monica Zent, a lawyer and entrepreneur, wrote a Huffington Post article explaining how more women can enter the tech field and succeed.

Some of the steps include advice such as forget lean in, you need to charge in, don't let fear govern you and build your support network.

While the numbers are bleak, we need to be focused on how to drive change, said Zent. As a female tech founder, I've seen many of the challenges firsthand and wanted to share the lessons I've learned along the way.

According to the Guardian, many organizations have formed to help women break into the tech industry.

"Smaller non-profits, such as Women Who Code and Black Girls Code, work on trying to bring girls and women into programming," wote the Guardian. "There are also for-profit companies. Media company Women 2.0 provides tips relevant to female-led startups and holds popular monthly meet-ups."

The twitter hashtag #raisetech is being used by the non-profit organization Girls in Tech to publicly discuss the issue of wage inequality in technology as well.
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