The presence of women in the field of information technology (IT) worldwide is still small compared to men, according to participants at the Global IT Summit at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology(KAUST).
According to Patricia Ann Hughes, vice president of human resources at KAUST, Google has only 17 percent of women in tech jobs, Facebook has 15 percent and Twitter has 10 percent.
The digital engagement of Saudis is among the highest in the world, making the Kingdom fertile ground for economic growth via digitalization, said Khaled Biyari, group CEO at the Saudi Telecom Co. (STC), in his keynote speech at the summit.
“This region is in an advanced stage compared with other regions of the world in terms of readiness to take up digitalization, both at a governmental and industrial level,” he notes
However, it’s worth thinking about why fewer women in the industry is such a bad thing in the first place. Some might be tempted to ask why it matters so much – if women aren’t as interested as men in participating in tech, why force a change?
It is critical to have diverse groups working to solve problems in our world today. Harvard Business School produced research showing that teams with women, and diversity in general, produce better results and are more collaborative in nature. Different perspectives help shape a better and more successful outcome. Diversity creates acceptance and allows for different viewpoints. Also, if there is lack diversity in any given industry which is not based on a socio-economic lack of diversity, then that shows that something in the system is going wrong.
“We as women know and see the problem, but we need the help of the majority. It takes two parties to actually change the world; cognitive diversity matters,” Says Patricia Florissi, global chief technology officer at Dell EMC. She adds that the said millennials will not have the same patience or tolerance that the older generation of women had in being a minority in technology.