There is one damning truth about the individual stereotypes that have dominated the Australian IT industry and why the number of women coders in Australia fell from 35% in the From the 90s to 25% today: meritocracy is a myth.
The world needs women to be digital innovators to drive gender equality coming. But first, we have to stop bypassing women.
Last week, Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic launched the consultation period for the government review on diversity in STEM which he says will provide “the evidence, ideas and recommendations” needed to increase the participation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematical industries. This is yet another setback for the girl cohorts already participate in STEM. The government must invest its money where his mouth is. We need action, not just another review or consultation.
Girl Geek Academy was founded with a vision to bring a million women and girls in tech careers by 2030 through a range of programs in sectors such as games, startups, 3D printing, design and aviation. We have everything from games to career incubators aimed at developing the industry with specific programs to help girls succeed. We started Girl Geek Academy because my co-founders and I wanted break the shackles of gender stereotypes and attitudes towards IT sector that have been terribly damaging to girls and young women. He
it hurts to see our industry, full of promise and potential, continue to stagnate due to a lack of diversity and inclusion. Innovation is not goes through this similarity. Neither does gender equality.
Receive daily company news.
The latest stories, funding information and expert advice. Free registration.
I first learned to code when I was five years old. At first I was just coding games my friends could play. But in 5th grade, Google came to visit our school introduces us to the world of the internet and the idea of mass global information sharing. I was the first girl computer programmer in my high school to enter a competition and I kept fighting until I was the last standing woman. I used to tell my friends I was going to “choir practice” when I would go to the computer room to practice coding because being a geek girl was not a way to be socially successful in a country city high school. For every moment of encouragement or success in my career path, there have been equally difficult encounters that contributed to self-doubt.
I was fired from a startup for being “too aggressive”. I have been kicked out of the team at an off-site tech start-up where the fully human the management team went for a day of golf. And yet, I did not stop. My story is not unique and as co-founder of Girl Geek Academy, our vision was to build the community infrastructure we need to support innovative women.
It’s no secret that Australia has a gender problem. According to the 2022 CEW Senior Executive Census, there were only 18 female CEOs in the ASX300 last year, showing no improvement from 2021. In fact, a total of 46 ASX300 companies do not had no women on their management team, up from 44 in 2021. Startups led by women received just 3% of global venture capital investments. In Australia, this figure has fallen to 0.7% in 2021. Australia has made no progress in addressing gender inequality and the strength of our tech sector has suffered.
We launched women-only hackathons as an important way to address some of the issues around gender inequality and a growing Tech Bro culture fueled by Red Bull that was in dire need of change. All around us, women were not being heard and empty promises continued to be made. You can’t simplify this growing chasm of inequality into a list of the “top three challenges” facing women in tech today, because that’s the wrong way to approach the problem. Our industry is plagued with structural issues that keep women out. It is our job to involve them.
What I wanted to start was a movement. By teaching coding to girls and moms at ‘She Hacks’, I wanted to break down conventional stereotypes and make rooms of women and girls coding together a norm for generations to come.
We’ve been doing it now for 10 years. Let’s fix this so I can be a woman working in tech again instead of quitting my career to try to stop more women and girls from falling.
Sarah Moran is the founder of Girl Geek Academy, a social enterprise dedicated to achieving gender equality in the tech industry.
. Australia problem problem with the the women in technology