Our New Era: Wāhine in Tech

 

Written by Shaelynn Loo

A new era regarding technology development as a key factor to the growth of the future is upon us. Now more than ever, women contribute to this new era of advancing technologies, however despite their inclusion the representation of women in the field of technology is still lackluster. Furthermore, there is irony in the fact that the first computer programmer was a woman, Ada Lovelace, who wrote the world's first machine algorithm for an early computing machine.

According to an article written by Sam Daley titled, Women in Tech Statistics Show the Industry Has a Long Way to Go, it is stated that only 26% of computing-related jobs are held by women and 50% of women claimed to experience gender-discrimination at work. 


As a young woman myself who plans on entering the computer science field, I am disheartened to hear such unfortunate statistics. As time progresses, the world constantly pushes for more equity in all areas of life, and while there have been improvements in including more women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related workforces, it is not enough to be considered equitable. However, just because there is a long way to go, it doesn’t mean steps towards improvement are not being made. 


According to an article called, Hawaii aims for more women in the cyber security workforce, by KHON2 News, Hawaii is participating in a national initiative that encourages girls, specifically grades 9-12, to explore cybersecurity and computer science fields. This initiative has provided opportunities for 6,650 women in 16 states regarding cybersecurity. In Hawaii specifically, 329 students from 23 high schools participated. Hearing about efforts being made to encourage and recruit women into tech-related fields makes me feel happier knowing progress is actively being made. It is reassuring to know that cyber-related fields are slowly noting the importance of having women contribute just as much as men. Women are a force to be reckoned with and even if it is an uphill battle, we will come out stronger in the end.