International Women’s Day: The technological ecosystem as a space for inclusion

The #8M is an opportunity to make visible the importance of women’s engagement in the technological entrepreneurial environment. To reduce the existing gender gaps in this ecosystem, it is necessary to make a systemic change that creates equal opportunities. Chicas en Tecnología shares some proposals for you to be part of the transformation.

Did you know that…?

The main findings of the research “Un potencial con barreras” [A potential with barriers], carried out by INTAL-BID and Chicas en Tecnología, on the educational and professional trajectory of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) disciplines in Argentina between 2010 and 2016 are as follows:

  • There are gender gaps in the admission and graduation of female students in STEM disciplines between the years studied: while 33% of women enroll as STEM students in both public and private universities, the figure for men is 67%.
  • Women who choose an educational and professional trajectory in STEM face barriers based on family and social stereotypes.
  • During university-level studies in STEM, women are discriminated against, something which conditions the possibility of developing a professional career that guarantees equal opportunities in leadership positions.
  • In the workplace, women experience horizontal segregation (“sticky floors”) and vertical segregation (“glass ceilings”) due to the scarce number of women in STEM-related fields of activity and the gender stereotypes they face.

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Moreover, …

In the Latin American and Caribbean region, and in Argentina in particular, the knowledge-based services industry, in which the software and computer services area stands out, represents 6.6% of GDP, employs 1.3 million people and is the country’s fourth largest export complex. Due to the potential of this industry in Argentina, the inclusion and full engagement of women requires thinking about mechanisms to overcome gender gaps in STEM.

Since 2015, at Chicas en Tecnología, we have been working to reduce the gender gap in science and technology in Argentina through a systemic approach that responds to 7 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To this end, we inspire, train and support the next generation of female leaders in technology through proposals and opportunities focused on high-quality education and gender equality.

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All our programs are free and open to the public, and they are aimed at girls in high school for them to go from users to creators of technology with social impact.

We also provide workshops, talks and initiatives for schools, families, government agencies, the private sector and civil society organizations. The organization believes that it is necessary to involve these actors in creating an environment that favors the complementarity of technical knowledge and soft skills and encourages development in terms of diversity, innovation, adaptability and competitiveness in order to create a long-term sustainable systemic and cultural change.

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What can you do? Here are some proposals:

  • Get committed to equality. Everyone can develop the skills needed to be leaders and creators of technology. Promote greater diversity in your work teams to create better responses and problem solving.
  • Give visibility to leaders and role models who encourage minorities to participate.
  • Create cross-cutting proposals that include diverse groups.
  • Reflect on and exchange ideas with your peers:

> What phrases and roles that reinforce gender stereotypes do you usually hear or say in your professional settings? A critical analysis allows us to understand where they come from and what gender beliefs they build.

> Do you think that men and women have different aptitudes to work in science and technology? Why?

> Why do you think there are courses of studies in which men or women are currently in the majority?

> Do you believe that there are professions for men and professions for women?

> Participate in communities working to solve the gender gap in science and technology. Make your actions visible and invite your colleagues to be part of them.

If you would like to meet Argentine women who work and lead projects in science and technology, access the web site Mujeres Argentinas en STEM [Argentine Women in STEM] and share their profiles to make them visible.

Encourage your colleagues to get involved! They may make an individual donation to CET to increase the number of girls in technology.