International Digital Women’s Day is an occasion for celebrating women in tech, platforming their voices, showcasing their achievements, as well as coming up with an effective action plan to help more women break into information technology.
In honor of Digital Women’s Day 2022, we’re taking a look at how far the industry has come, where we’ve got to go, and how you can celebrate women in tech within your organization.
What is Digital Women’s Day?
Digital Women’s Day (‘Journée de la Femme Digitale’) is a global celebration that takes place every April 17th. It was founded by JFD, an ‘international growth accelerator for women that take bold technological bets and create disruptive innovations to change the world.’
JFD is committed to creating more space for women in tech. Its proactive approach combines education, platforming women role models, and financing opportunities.
Women in tech: are we moving in the right direction?
Deloitte has found that, on average, tech companies are making slow but steady progress in increasing female workforce representation. They project that in 2022, global tech firms’ workforces will be one-third female. The industry is clearly on the right trajectory.
However, the critical momentum in the right direction is at risk of stalling, with factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic contributing to female employee dissatisfaction, decreased well-being and motivation. They also found that racially and ethnically diverse women within their workforce were even more negatively affected than their colleagues.
So although we’re moving in the right direction, we’ve still got a long way to go. Indeed, according to Women in Tech, the quitting rate for women in tech (47%) is more than double that of men (17%). That’s not surprising when 78% of large tech organizations admit to having a male-oriented gender pay gap, with women earning up to 28% less than their male counterparts in equivalent positions. And with over half of women surveyed reporting experiences of gender discrimination or bias in the work place.
In addition, according to JFD, a staggering 98% of financing in the tech startup world is awarded to men. This makes it just that much harder for female tech entrepreneurs to break through.
How to celebrate Digital Women’s Day
Though it can be easy to focus on the ongoing shortcomings of the industry, the purpose of Digital Women’s Day is also to celebrate progress, showcase achievements, and to implement proactive measures to combat the sector-wide gender imbalance. Whether you’re a current or aspiring woman in tech, a male ally or an organization here are just a few of the ways you can mark the occasion:
Get involved on social media
Publicizing Digital Women’s Day on your (private, professional, or brand) social handles is a great way of raising awareness and sharing with your network. You can start conversations about women in tech, why Digital Women’s Day is important, and leverage your platform to make space for women’s voices and their experiences.
Organize (or attend) events
Use Digital Women’s Day as an opportunity to bring your community or organization together. Empower your employees to come together and start important conversations around gender equality in the workplace and the wider sector.
Platform key role models
One of the cornerstones of JFD’s approach is giving visibility to key role models. Luckily, inspiring women in tech are everywhere! They don’t necessarily have to be famous or well-known. Making space to hear about your colleagues’ or employees’ journeys into tech and platforming their voices to your wider organization is a powerful way of raising awareness. You could consider taking it outside of your workplace, and empowering your employees to mentor aspiring girls and women within your community too.
Reflect on your position
Digital Women’s Day is as much a day for celebration as for reflection. If you’re in a leadership position at your organization, why not take this day to reflect on your current hiring practices, the diversity of your workforce, and your workplace culture. Consider what changes you can make to not only diversify your talent pool but motivate and empower your existing women employees.
In addition, leverage your organizational power to call for wider systemic change within the industry. Be vocal about combatting gender pay-gaps and backing key initiatives such as JFD and Women in Tech.
On an individual level, consider your position within these conversations. Take a moment to understand your relative privilege and how you can use this power to help others on their journey into tech.