women-in-tech

The existence of gender disparity is nothing new, particularly within the male dominated tech industry. But does this mean women should take measures to obscure their gender?

You just have to look at the percentages of female employees working at huge tech companies to see this - women make up 32% of employees at Facebook, 31% at Apple, 30% at Twitter and Google and 24% at Intel.

Some of these companies are trying to tackle this trend by offering workplace childcare facilities and equal maternity and paternity options (Apple and Facebook even offer to cover the cost for female employees who wish to freeze their eggs).

However, Wall Street Journal leadership expert John Greenhouse has advised women to obscure their gender to combat the issue of gender bias.

In a blog post, Mr Greenhouse suggested women in Tech might want to consider using their initials online and remove photographs revealing their gender.

He said: "Much like a book, people cannot avoid judging their fellow humans by their "cover." As such, women in tech should consider what they can do to broaden the audience willing to engage with them while mitigating potentially negative misconceptions.

"A neutral online persona will encourage more people to evaluate your work products and experiences based on their inherent qualities, unclouded by preconceptions."

Kristen Bay, president and CEO of enterprise cybersecurity firm Cyber adAPT, said the issue of ‘Women in Tech’ has become outdated and should be irrelevant in an industry that is evolving at such a rapid pace.

Ms Bay said many powerful women have made it to the top due to their intelligence, business acumen and leadership abilities, not by concealing their identity but by overcoming “many obstacles to ascend to senior leadership roles in Corporate America.”

She added: “Gender played no part in their success; rather, these professionals made their way to top because of their exceptional intelligence, insightfulness, business acumen, achievements, and leadership capabilities.

“I applaud these women, and countless others like them, who are successful in spite of outdated notions such as the ones espoused by Greathouse, and who fight every day to make gender a non-issue in the workplace.

“We are proud of who we are, the diverse paths we’ve taken, and what we’ve accomplished to date, and we are excited for the futures of our respective companies and the multi-faceted plans and strategies we’re implementing. In the end, gender should be irrelevant. I don’t intend to hide mine ever, on any platform or channel.”