5 Faulty Stereotypes About Women and Technology

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There is no escaping it, it doesn’t matter in which sphere of life you are, there are going to be stereotypes and more often than not. When one looks at the stereotypes of women today, there are more than you can imagine.

Just think about the “bimbo blond” or the “fiery redhead”. Without us even giving it much thought, these stereotypes have an impact on both men and women. Before we even know the women, we have already made assumptions and could end up missing out on the real person.

Things are changing, though. Women lead when it comes to tech skills, sense of purpose, and the future ambitions. Let’s take a deeper look.

We call BS #1

She got here because she is pretty

Many women in the tech industry find it hard to make a name for themselves, especially when they are considered to be beautiful. The world has made beautiful women out to be people who rely on their looks and abilities to seduce the opposite sex to do things for them. If that were so, it would already be a feat of intelligence on its own.

However, because of this stereotype, women in the IT industry find it difficult to prove that they are actually more than the beautiful exterior. They find it difficult to prove that their looks have nothing to do with their achievements and that they just happen to look good in glasses.

For the guys out there, let’s face it, when a lady is both beautiful and intelligent, it makes for a dangerous combination.

Nevertheless, the stereotype is real and when a beautiful woman succeeds in the IT industry, many people cannot accept her success.

It’s not that they can’t accept it for truth, but rather that they don’t want to and deep-rooted jealousy keeps them from acknowledging the simple truth and that women can be equally creative and innovative when it comes to IT.

One of the best examples of such a lady is Shinjini Kundu. This Indian American Physician and computer scientist was one of the youngest MD-PhD students.

Today, she is revolutionizing the artificial intelligence world with AI technology which is able to detect early diseases in patients that would otherwise not have been possible for humans to detect.

She has the whole package, looks, intellect and a will to achieve something great, despite what the world or stereotypes might think of her. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

We call BS #2

Women should stay at home and take care of the house and the kids

During the 1970s and 80s, women were called “naturals” when it came to computer programming languages. They had the keen ability to pay attention to details and were patient enough to struggle through the bug fixing stages of a program.

By 1985, 38% of computer science jobs were held by women. They excelled and were on a roll. However, something went wrong and in 2014, only 25% of highly qualified women enrolled for STEM field courses.

One of the major reasons for this drop in their representative number was because of the perception that they would not be able to give their full attention to the job at hand.

The American Journal of Sociology did an experiment and found that women who indicated that they were part of a Parent-Teacher Association on their resumes, were less likely to proceed to the second round of interviews. When they were considered, they were offered lower salaries and promotions were not even more scarce.

The main reason why women with children, or married women for that matter, are less likely to land a tech job is that companies don’t want to sit with the social headache of finding temporary workers to fill in for the mother who is on maternal leave.

Beetroot developer, Julia Frich, encountered these stereotypes at one of the companies who she worked at previously. She mentioned that in hindsight, it always felt as if the companies were trying to establish whether the female candidates would apply for parental leave at one stage or another.

We call BS #3

Girls aren’t as technically inclined as guys

Back in the day, the schools did a marvelous job in cementing these stereotypes. Boys were given the opportunity to follow more technical, mathematical and engineering routes, while the girls were left to follow the arts. They were molded into participating in subjects that seemed more feminine, like dancing and music.

Even though modern schools have pushed this way of thinking aside, the stereotype has taken root and is still part of the modern way of thinking, even if it isn’t advocated explicitly.

This stereotype was completely debunked and the numbers tell a completely different story. A study was done on mathematically gifted youths in 1980 and the odds were entirely in favor of the guys.

They outnumbered the girls 13:1. However, in 2007, the study was repeated and the numbers showed a drastic change. Now the ratio is nearly equal with the boys only slightly ahead with the ration standing at 3:1.

When it comes to intellect, the studies that were done thereafter showed that the prerequisites for being smart were nearly identical in both males and females.

When we order assignment online, ask for help from such essay writing service reviews as Easy Essay or Essay writing service USA , dial a phone to customer care or plan to talk to someone in HR of a company, the general feeling is that it will be a woman we will speak to. Such is the level of impression that we have. Equal opportunity would see a much more balanced outcome, but the opposite is also true. The ones who are favored and have more opportunity will fare better than the other, regardless of who is being favored.

Anastasia, an employee at Women in Technology International, mentioned how she was asked by her previous employer to do a particularly difficult equation.

However, seeing that she never received the appropriate education, she was unable to solve the problem. Consequently, her lack of skill was equated to all women and not to the fact that she never received the relevant training.

We call BS #4

The tech world is a man’s world

Although this isn’t a stereotype directed at women directly, it still has a direct effect on them, nonetheless. A study was done to determine which professions were labeled as masculine professions and the IT industry made the list with flying colors.

There was no logical reason why it made the list other than being a stereotypically categorized job which was made into a masculine job.

The study of AssignmentHelper.com.au revealed that the women who made it into the STEM industry, felt the male dominance. They were made to understand that they were not playing on home soil and consequently felt intimidated by the men. The study made another startling discovery when it found that 52% of the women who left their tech jobs, never went back.

Julia Frich mentioned that she also felt the male dominance and never really felt a part of the team at her previous job. In the beginning, she used to go to work in her high heels and make-up, but she could feel that she was not received as being competent or qualified due to her appearance.

She later started to wear more masculine clothes and ditched her high heels for clothes that made her look older.

In a way, it stole from her personality as she was forced to change how she presented herself in order to be accepted. Her skills were never brought into question, but due to her feminine appearance, her skills were disregarded.

We call BS #5

Women just aren’t that interested in the STEM industry

This is probably one of the more dangerous stereotypes around as it disregards women without even finding out whether they would actually be interested in the tech industry. Before they even have a say, it is decided for them that they would not be interested in the STEM industry and would rather feel more at home in some or another traditionally feminine occupation.

Although there are studies that indicate that women prefer jobs where they can help other people, or interact socially with other people, it cannot be said for all women. The danger of this stereotype and the study goes further than just indicated that, in general, women prefer more social occupations.

It goes on to shape the stereotype even further and label women as being unskilled. This could then lead to prejudice and discrimination against women in the tech world.

A study was conducted at a particular large university and it was found that the women who worked in the natural science department were subject to more sexual harassment and gender discrimination. The women who worked in the social science department experienced less harassment.

Wrapping it up

There is no denying that there are differences between men and women, but there is also no denying that women can perform equally well in the STEM industry as men. The stereotypes are hurting their prospects and although much has already been done to narrow the gap, there is still discrimination going around.

Although there are women who prefer to work in the social sector, it does not mean that all of them want to. An equal opportunity needs to be given to anyone who has a passion for the tech industry and regardless of whether you are male or female, everyone needs an opportunity to follow their dream.

About the author

Jacob Dillon is a professional writer and distinctive journalist from Sydney. Being passionate about what he does, Jacob likes to discuss stirring events as well as express his opinion about technological advancements and the evolution of society.

Find Jacob on Twitter and Facebook.

Click here to find more articles by Jacob Dillon!

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