According to a paper from Ken H. Judy published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster analyzing data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2007 women represented 46% of the overall US workforce but only 30% of Information Technology (IT) workers and less than 25% of software developers. In the same years, those numbers were to cut in half in Europe and went down to tiny fractions in the rest of the world.
But things have started to change most recently and there’s some good news around the corner. With software-related technologies becoming more pervasive and mainstream, the number of girls and women involved in software development activities has significantly increased in the last 3-5 years and the trend is growing fast.
Brand new initiatives devoted to women in tech such as Girls Who Code and Women Who Code are raising awareness on the increasing female presence in software development teams at all levels. We are now seeing a growing number of women covering management positions as well as in project management and software development roles.
Software development is an attractive career for women that can provide a flexible working schedule, gratifying and creative solo tasks as well as team-oriented activities. It’s a career path that can take you to very technical, interesting and specialized paths as well as more generic duties such as project coordination and people management.
Given the high demand for software developers these days and the investment every software company devotes to growing and keeping their tech staff, software-related career paths have proven to be an incredible opportunity for women in third-world countries to fight discrimination of gender and gain respect of their families and communities through recognition of their professional abilities and economic independence. This is clearly evident in countries such as India, Pakistan and middle-east nations where a growing number of women are taking active roles in tech companies.
Paired with the increasing presence of women in software development, we of course observe a growing presence of women in Agile development teams and Agile leadership roles such as product owners, Agile mentors and groups coordinators.
Agile Alliance has published the video report of their amazing 2016 Women in Agile conference and it’s just amazing to see and listen to passionate speeches on what are effectively engineering practices, check it out at:
Held by women for women, the conference offers a truly refreshing perspective from the quite usual gathering of Agile and Scrum geeks!
Women can play a major role in helping Agile teams achieve results while keeping a happy pace because of inherent qualities they can bring to the highly competitive sector of software development:
- Resilience to stressful situations
- Networking and relationship building
- Problem solving and practical attitude
- Natural creativity and design thinking
- Collaboration over negotiation
We therefore encourage women to believe in theirselves and continue to bring diversity to software development by getting involved in Agile teams, share their experience, skills and contacts, and encourage other women to connect and get more exposure to the opportunities the Agile world has to offer.
Keep it up, girls!
The Herogami crew wishes a happy Women’s Day to all girls and women that make happiness bloom all around them!