In the previous two parts of our report dedicated to the place of women in the manufacturing sector, we saw that the talents sought by manufacturers were increasingly qualified and linked to digital. In the last article of this trilogy, we decided to focus on women in digital in order to understand if the digitization of the industry will allow the sector to recruit more women.
Are women the future of digital?
If women are the future of Man, they are not yet the future of digital. In fact, women currently represent less than 33% of the digital workforce. In the United States, the situation is no better. In the 1980s, 40% of technology graduates were women. Today, this rate has dropped to 18%. How can we explain this situation?
Women now represent less than 33% of the digital workforce.
Probably because of the popular culture that would like to make women believe that technological subjects are reserved for men. And the more they believe it, the less they go towards this path and the less they are represented and so the vicious circle continues. So, what to do to get out of it?
According to the LinkedIn barometer, Data Scientist, Software Developer, Engineer, Business Engineer and System Engineer are the most sought-after professions by recruiters. These are promising jobs, but women are largely in the minority.
Computer science is the only field where, after having been proportionally well represented, the share of women is clearly declining, whereas in all scientific and technical fields it has increased, from 5% in 1972 to 26% in 2010.Isabelle Collet, professor of education and research at the University of Geneva
How to explain this lack of interest of girls for computer science? Again, clichés… The representation of professions is gendered from childhood. Girls are conditioned to take courses related to business and health, and boys those related to science and engineering.
But according to Kate McInturff, a researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, not everything is decided before entering the world of work. In fact, she says, even for those who have studied in these fields, getting into the workforce is not so easy.
There are few women in engineering, math, science, physics. This will be reflected in the job market. In addition, many women who study in these fields leave their profession because the environment is not adapted to women.Kate McInturff, researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives,
She also adds that countries that do not reduce gender inequality run a high risk of compromising their economic growth.
Initiatives to follow and support
To change this male image of new technologies, and because it is inconceivable that tomorrow’s world will be built without women, initiatives have been launched all over the world to promote the place of women in the digital world.
For example, in France, the movement “Jamais sans elle” (Never without her) is based on the idea that it is necessary to start by changing people’s mentalities, and for that, to increase the visibility of women when talking about digital, and in particular in round tables.
The signatories of this movement have therefore committed themselves to not participate in a debate or a round table if at least one woman is not present. But the problem is that too often, despite the good will of the organizers, it is difficult to find female speakers. Indeed, they are few in number and therefore very often solicited.
These initiatives are probably not ideal, but they are a good start to increase the visibility of women and to begin to change mentalities, on the side of men but also and especially on the side of women.
To conclude, let’s reflect on this sentence from Amel Bouazza, Managing Director and Senior Vice President of Kanzy Medipharm:
The natural and emerging dynamic among women to want to take on challenges, make changes in their environment and make a difference in society proves that the manufacturing sector, like any other sector, has every interest in involving more women and getting them involved.Amel Bouazza , CEO and Senior Vice President of Kanzy Medipharm