No place for women in the digital industry?
Published: 11 Sep 2013 By Toby Day
Evolving landscape dominated by males, reports show
The industry for digital jobs is expanding rapidly year-on-year. It is often regarded as a quintessentially modern industry; vibrant, young and forward-thinking, with an emphasis on innovation. But why are there so few female representatives in this industry?
To be successful or to be a ‘recognised’ digital thought-leader seems to be a male pursuit. Many recent influential ‘power lists’ are still overwhelmingly male-dominated. Only 18% of the Guardian’s Media 100, released this week, were women. In addition to this only 16% of Wired’s most recent Digital 100 were females. It seems strange to think that in this day and age publications such as these can still publish lists so overwhelmingly male-orientated.
It remains a fact that opportunities for women in the digital industry are few and far between.
A recent survey carried out by Women in Wireless, a group dedicated to developing more opportunities for women in the wireless and digital media industries, substantiates the gender imbalance by highlighting that 83% of women between the ages of 35-54 believed it was harder for women to progress in wireless and digital media, as opposed to 65% aged between 18-34.
It is not as if there’s a lack of high-profile role models for women in the industry. Sheryl Sandberg, is not only a digital success story, she is a savvy business-woman too. Negotiating the minefield of Facebook’s share launch is no mean feat, that’s for sure.
From our experience recruiting in the digital industry day in and day out, there is a definite gender bias towards male candidates. Web developers and programmers (often considered the “geekier” tech roles) still show a leaning towards male dominance. The digital industry should not be stuck in the stone ages; in fact it should stand as the antithesis to the antiquated industries where gender inequality ran riot.
I do not personally believe this is the case and there is certainly no gender discrimination in any of the companies I work closely alongside, and yet, I still seem to represent fewer female candidates.