Technology is a big influencer when it comes to the way we work and live. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the tech sector is expected to grow 11 percent when it comes to jobs, which it said is much faster than the average for all occupations.
But women are high underrepresented in technology fields, with women holding only about 27% of those jobs.
Randi Zuckerberg, one of tech’s leading ladies with Zuckerberg Media, said tech is losing many of the few women that are in the industry because of the increased pressures at home during COVID.
But, she said, now is the time for women to pursue digital careers and close the gap.
“A lot of women think, ‘Oh, I’m not in Silicon Valley, or I’m not in one of the biggest cities, I can’t work in tech,’” said Zuckerberg. “And this year has gotten everyone used to remote work. In fact, a lot of the big tech companies are not even reopening their offices anytime soon. So it doesn’t matter where you live, you can work for any company from anywhere. And that’s why I think right now is the most exciting time to be a woman getting into a tech career.”
She said it’s important to start getting girls excited in STEM careers from a young age.
“The first gap that happens where we lose women in STEM careers happens around eight and nine years old. It’s so much younger than we think,” said Zuckerberg. “And that’s why it’s so important to get girls excited about math and science and show them the promise because we don’t want to lose them in tech before they even know that they might want to have a job in technology. But I do want to say that even if you did turn away from tech as a young girl, it’s never too late to embrace a new digital career. There are so many emerging fields and new exciting opportunities. So no matter what age, it’s a great time to be a woman in technology.”
Zuckerberg said getting your start in the tech sector can appear overwhelming and daunting, despite the excitement it brings.
“A lot of women don’t even know where to start. It seems like there’s so many things that need to happen, education, job training, everything,” said Zuckerberg. “That’s why for me, I was so excited to work with DeVry University, they are launching a new program, the Women+Tech Scholars program that really tackles all of the things that women need to know to go after a digital career. There’s education and training, certification, mentorship opportunities, early access to internships and job opportunities. It really is the full circle and a very exciting program.”
DeVry University is awarding up to $10 million in scholarships through that program to women in technology to help them launch their careers. The goal is to help women overcome barriers they may face in the workplace, especially in such a male-dominated field. As a Women+Tech, students will be assigned a mentor, have early access to internships and job opportunities, and more.
To be eligible, Zuckerberg said undergraduate students who identify as a woman and enroll in a qualifying Engineering & Information Sciences program can click here to learn more information.