- Miriam Onyemenam
IWD 2022: Breaking the bias around women in tech
You’ve probably seen the phrase, “Break The Bias” a number of times on the internet in the past few days.
It’s the theme of the year for International Women’s Day, 2022.
This is a call to break the gender biases that are present in our communities. Simply put - it’s a call to get rid of gender stereotypes that belittle or underestimate women.
Gender biases are present in different aspects of our society, but in this article, we will focus on the biases in the tech industry.
Gender Biases Against Women In Tech
There is this lingering stereotype that makes people believe that women do not (or cannot) thrive in the technology industry.
It is no surprise that in the entire world, approximately 30% of women have tech-related jobs.
This number is very appalling and we can largely tie statistics like this to gender discrimination in the tech space.
Stereotypes like this are part of the major vices in our society and it’s necessary to put our feet down and eliminate them.
Let's see how we can do this.
How To Break The Bias Against Women In Tech
Breaking the bias is not impossible if we make it a priority and get everyone to play their part.
The truth is, you don’t have to own the biggest platform or have the most money to contribute to breaking the bias.
Getting rid of stereotypes starts with the mindset. If your mindset is right, your actions will certainly reflect positivity towards the female gender.
Here are 5 ways you can help break the gender biases against women in tech:
1. Make Gender-Neutral Decisions
If you find yourself in decision-making positions, assess yourself for any form of gender discrimination and get rid of it before making a decision.
For instance, if you are responsible for recruiting people into your tech organization, don’t consider any role too much for a woman to handle. Hire based on qualifications, not on gender preference.
By doing so, you are gradually contributing to breaking the bias.
2. Give Every Opinion Equal Chance
Don’t get repulsive when a woman is giving suggestions just because she is a woman. Rather, treat her opinions the same way you would treat the opinion of any other person.
If you genuinely do not consider it such an expert opinion, state that politely and correct her with kindness.
This way, you will not only be breaking the bias, but you will also make your colleagues and peers feel more comfortable and appreciated.
3. Choose Facts Over Myths
More often than not, people make the mistake of treating myths like facts when they are two very opposite things.
A myth is something that is generally believed to be true without being backed up with proof.
A fact, however, is something that has been proven to be true based on results, which automatically means it is more certain than a myth.
There are many gender-based myths in the tech industry and over the years, people have gotten used to believing those myths instead of paying attention to the actual facts.
MYTH: Women are weaker vessels and cannot handle tech careers.
FACT: Women in tech are smart and we can clearly see their achievements in our world today.
It is time to do away with such myths and instead embrace the visible facts.
4. Call Out Gender Discrimination
If you are not a gender-biased person but you’re comfortable watching other people make gender discriminating decisions or remarks, then you are not playing such a good societal role.
You should try, as much as you can, to let people know where you stand whether at work or away from work.
Encourage colleagues not to make decisions based on gender, but based on the correct criteria.
5. Support And Encourage Women
Let the women around you know you stand for them, and you are not against their progress.
Supporting could be in form of:
Listening and giving honest advice
Give kind remarks to make them feel appreciated
Informing them of opportunities around them
Lending a helping hand when they need one
Being a good friend
The littlest thing you do could go a long way to boosting one’s spirit, so keep spreading kindness daily.
Breaking the bias starts with you.
Something To Break The Bias
At The Spark, we celebrate and honor female founders, that is why we provide several opportunities and resources that female founders can use to scale their businesses.
If there's one thing we want to succeed at, it's democratizing opportunities for underrepresented founders, and this includes you - the black woman.