The tech industry is blowing the roof off of other industries in terms of development, innovation, and sexual bias. All the good that comes from technology advancements has the scars of sexual harassment, hostile work environments, and memos about the biological differences that make men better techies than women all over them. The recent Google memo and the harassment claims at Uber confirm the fact that women are having a hard time adjusting in Silicon Valley, and it’s not because they are unqualified to do the job. They are battling to keep their jobs in an industry that looks down on them. The ironic message in this alarming situation is, even though the tech industry is doing a lot of good in the world, it is playing by a dangerous set of rules that will hurt women who have contributions to make, and it will eventually tear the industry apart.
According to the National Science Foundation, the number of women who want to pursue a career in STEM related fields is declining. In 2004, one in four people with computer science degrees were women. In 2014, only 18 percent of the people with computer science degrees were women. Once those women enter the tech workforce, they feel the hostility, and they suffer harassment from their male counterparts. According to a recent survey, three out of five women experience some form of sexual harassment in Silicon Valley. The work culture in Silicon Valley is different, and that culture has deep roots in male egotism. The leaders of companies like Google and Uber must change their thinking process. They must recognize what women bring to the tech table, according to some male workers at Google. But changing that thinking process is not a priority.
There is hope for women who want to make a difference in the tech world. The recent news articles about sexual harassment in Silicon Valley is weakening the hard shell that surrounds male techies and their leaders. But it is going to take more than news articles to make a difference. The women who are still in school studying STEM related fields must be able to stand up to the antiquated methods of treating women employees. They must recognize the issues before immersing themselves in them. They must form groups, and build a network of strong female techies, according to some of the women who understand the complex world of tech workers. Female mentors are scarce in Silicon Valley, but the women who are still in school hope the recent news articles about harassment will bring female power to the top sooner than later.