So, according to the latest stats on business start ups, women account for less than 5% of tech start ups on the web.
A pretty shocking statistic considering that us girls dominate on social networks, shopping sites and blogs. Is it proof that we girls can’t get our pretty heads around developing new technology, that it’s it all too complicated for our fluffy pink brains?
But that’s just nuts, cos Women, literally, rule the internet. A 2010 report from comScore, “Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet” concludes that “women are the digital mainstream, a group of savvy Internet explorers who are more engaged than their male counterparts, and are the primary drivers of online and group buying”.
But what the freak is going on? Why are women wholeheartedly participating in the web yet noticeably absent from tech company boardrooms. And yes, whilst we do have our poster girls Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Meyers it’s fair to say these gals are like needles lost in haystacks, pretty hard to find.
You’d think, logically, it’d follow that if girls sucked at tech because of some genetic, biological defect we’d also fare pretty badly in science, mathematics and medicine, all disciplines that require logical, linear,methodical thought. Not so! The stats actually show that us girls out perform boys. Six out of 10 masters degrees are earned by women, with many entering the fields of science and mathematics. Yet, men still account for a whopping 85% of all computer science courses!
It’s gotta be a cultural thing, and one that urgently needs to be addressed. It’s been suggested that girls stay away as tech companies are in the main part ” a sort of parallel universe, fueled by testosterone and 5-Hour Energy drinks, where young male programmers freshly empowered by the tech boom revel unselfconsciously in a high-fiving culture of chips and beer”.
But girls, we still need to learn to code like our bro’s and be involved in the creation/design of new web technologies. Because if we don’t then the web will only be half as good as it could be.
Besides, If you’re a women with a small business then you’re going to need to get yourself a website, and how many of us build and run our own business websites? Not enough, and sadly we happily hand that part and our cash over to those Redbull fuelled geeks in hoodies.
We need to start somewhere, and by learning to manage and run our own business websites hopefully we’ll come to see that in fact we can do tech, that we do need to participate, to design the web, to develop technology that’s more user friendly and fulfilling and meeting our needs.
My aim with sheweb.com is to help to bridge that gap, to provide ongoing education, help and support alongside powerful tools to get women and their business online. Getting women creating, participating and learning web tech.