For a specialist, the cultural factor still has a strong weight, but, in the specific case of Brazil, there is a lack of incentives for exact disciplines to be more sought after.
Throughout history, there have been many moments when women determined to overcome cultural, social and economic barriers have become key pieces for revolutions technological that set new directions for the world. These women, figures that projected themselves beyond their time, played a fundamental role, but had minimal space in the history books. Unfortunately. Ada Lovelace, creator of the first computer program, Annie Easley, a rocket scientist at NASA, and Cecilia Payne, an astronomer who showed that the Sun is composed primarily of hydrogen, are three examples whose names have become symbols of the due and necessary recognition of women. of technology. They are — or at least they should be — inspiration for young women who are now embarking on careers related to computing, among others.
A few decades ago—and this time travel doesn’t have to be very long—when you walk into a university classroom, the chance of finding a girl sitting among the students in a science or technology class would have been practically zero. There were very few or none, depending on the place. Fortunately, this scenario has changed in recent years and more women are entering tech careers. Although shy, the female awakening to areas such as engineering, physics, computer science, among others, reveals that there is enormous potential to be explored. Really huge: today, only 24% of jobs in the computing area are filled by women, a number that has grown by only 2% in the last two decades.
the futuristic Martha Gabriel is an active voice in this debate about the female presence in the technology industry, and recognizes that there are important obstacles to overcome. In her assessment, the cultural factor still has a very strong weight, but that’s not all. According to her, in the specific case of Brazil, there is a lack of incentives for the exact disciplines to be more sought after by young people — both women and men — and the lack of encouragement lies in the already timid presence of girls in technology.
Diversity that generates innovation
The debate on diversity has reached an important dimension in the society in which we live. There is no longer any way to ignore the positive effects for people and businesses. Different worldviews and different cultural and social origins are elements that enhance the innovation environment. While for some organizations this notion is clear, for others it is only in the discourse on diversity. This is the biggest obstacle for women to conquer more space in the labor market. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, for indicators to begin to point to a greater presence of women in technology-related jobs, companies must undergo a cultural transformation. And that only happens from the inside out. As long as there are few women in leadership positions, for example, the path for those entering the market will still be quite difficult.
It is urgent that the market organize itself to boost the cultural transformation of companies. In this sense, initiatives such as Huawei’s Women in Tech, a comprehensive training program that is helping to eliminate the barriers that keep women away from technology. Even in the face of a more optimistic scenario regarding the entry of women into the technology market, we are still far from the complete elimination of cultural and social barriers that, in some cases, are insurmountable. Only 17% of the founders of Brazilian startups are female, according to the Mapping of the Brazilian Startup Ecosystem, carried out by Abstartups.
Although the number of female founders has evolved from the 12.6% recorded in the previous edition of the study, in 2020, it is undeniable that the greater presence of women in the startup ecosystem could reduce biases found in products and solutions offered by these companies, in addition to opening doors for more women. Therefore, it is necessary to highlight the fundamental role that professionals such as computer scientist Nina da Hora and UX designer Karina Tronkos (better known as Nina Talks) play. They are two young women who entered the technology area and today symbolize the conquest of this space by women. In addition to being recognized by the community and the market, they encourage greater diversity in companies and in technology courses and, like the pioneers mentioned at the beginning of this text, serve as inspiration for girls who want to enter this market.