For decades, women have struggled to earn the same amount as men for the exact same job duties. In some career fields, such as sales, a woman may only earn as much as 68% of a man’s salary on average! In the field of computer science, however, there could be the foundation of finally changing this issue. Even though there is still a wage gap for women, the need for qualified people is great. This need gives women the power to negotiate and that power may be the final straw that helps women achieve true professional equality.
Agencies Are Recruiting Directly From Educational Programs
In Silicon Valley, the need for qualified computer science professionals is so great that agencies like Facebook, Apple, and even Google are recruiting directly from the classroom because the need for people is so great. Stock options and other financial perks are rising as fast as salaries for qualified personnel because there is basically a static pool of people from which to choose.
According to Kimber Lockhart, who works for Box as senior director of engineering, the need is so great that she can’t even do the job that she was hired to do. “It’s extremely hard to hire well-qualified engineers,” she told the Mercury News recently. “And if we could get anybody else in the pipeline, that could make it easier. If that’s women, great.”
At this very moment, four out of the top 20 jobs for women in the United States are in computer science – a place where only about 1 in every 4 employees is a woman. Computer programming, software development, IT systems management, analyst positions – they’re all in desperate need for qualified people. It is this need that women can use to shrink or eliminate the wage gap, but only if they have the skills to back up their negotiating power.
How Can These Skills Be Developed?
It ultimately boils down to passion. Many women believe that there is a lot of boredom associated with the computer science industry. The thought of sitting down at a computer all day to do their job is, at best, considered to be boring. Yet because every business needs to have some sort of internet presence in order to be successful, there is an opportunity for every woman to find success in the computer science industry in any field they have a passion to work within.
Why is this passion important? Because it is this passion that drives more consistency, value, and reliability in the work that is completed. Women who have been in charge of start-ups in this field have shown a definite competitive advantage when it comes to innovative products that consumers are using globally. Just ask Sandy Jen – she sold Meebo to Google in 2012 for a reported nine figures.
It starts with the decision to pursue computer science in a formal educational setting. That’s where recruiting is happening today… and that’s where the wage gap could finally start becoming a distant memory.