Robots, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, connectivity and big data as the basis of everything. Artificial intelligence in all its forms cuts across the economy. Science and technology are the disciplines that generate the most job opportunities, with a view to growth and with salaries above the average.
Hence, in order to empower sectors with less presence in these areas, such as women, it is vital to understand the existing gap and promote inclusion measures.
According to data compiled by LinkedIn and published in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, Only 22% of all professionals working in the field of artificial intelligence all over the world are women.
If we take into account that the jobs of the future are linked to this discipline, these indices speak of a gender gap that will multiply more inequality in the future.
STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education is known to be key to preparing students for the job market of the future. A recent study, conducted by 29 UN programs, estimates that Half of the currently existing jobs will be gone by 2050. And in turn, a UNESCO report anticipates that up to 75% of jobs will be related to the STEM field and that almost all occupations will be affected by the technological change that is taking place in this era.
What to do in this scenario? On In recent years, several communities of women in technology have emerged that seek to promote the study of this discipline, provide training tools, alliances and agreements to empower those who are in this field or those who want to enter it.
They also seek to shed light on the inequalities that exist in the market, such as salary disparity:Hourly earnings of women in the region are, on average, 17% lower than that of men of the same age, with the same educational level, the same number of children in the household, the same geographical condition and the same type of work, according to data from the International Labor Organization (ILO).
“Visibilizing is the first step to generate changes” is a phrase that is heard and repeated in the different communities that seek to promote the presence of women in IT.
At Women’s Day a tour of some IT communities that seek to generate change, promote inclusion and resolve the existing gender gap.
Geek Girls Latam
Geek Girls Latam is an NGO that was born in Colombia, in 2016, by Joanna Prieto and Diana Salazar. They offer mentoring and training in STEM and promote projects with a social and economic impact for the new generations with a gender approach.
Such is the case of Apropia, a training model that connects the digital world with the needs that women have in relation to the integration of scientific and technological knowledge into their daily lives.
From the NGO they establish alliances with different associations and entities to be able to carry out these initiatives.
“What we seek with civil society organizations, international cooperation, companies, academia and others, is to find common ground to generate not only conversations but actions to contribute to the reduction of inequalities and the closing of the gender gap in science and technologywhich end up being converted into our organizations’ own methodologies, applied to the social and vulnerable contexts that we seek to impact”, highlights Diana Salazar, in dialogue with Infobae.
The organization was born in Colombia and has reach throughout the region. They have carried out interventions in countries such as Peru, El Salvador and Honduras. Virtuality has also helped programs to be carried out remotely from anywhere in the world.
“This is the case of our Talents 4.0 Program, that connects professional women with an online learning community that allows them to achieve goals at the level of developing technical and professional skills, the last cohort impacted more than 300 women from all over Latin America”, underlines Salazar. Basic training is free. Then they offer other “Gold” programs that are paid.
In addition to this training, they teach a workshop called the 360 Digital Security Academy to various schools in Colombia and also offer the Geek Girls LatAm Chair for leadership and empowerment in the digital economy, open to women from anywhere in the region.
Women Who Code
Women Who Code is a global non-profit organization with a suite of programs to help diverse women in technology grow their industry.
The organization consists of more than 200,000 members worldwide and is located in 70 cities, each of which represents a network in 20 countries, including Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Each year, all locations collectively host more than 1,800 free and low-cost technical events.
“Currently, women in mid-career are leaving tech at a rate of 56%, which is more than double the rate of men leaving. One of the reasons is that women are much less likely to be promoted.. As a result, we are focused on changing the perception of the industry by highlighting the achievements and success of the diverse range of engineers who work in these professions.
Las de Sistemas is a community that was born in Argentina in 2017 and focuses on generating meetings, conferences and training workshops linked to technology with the aim of promoting the presence and visibility of less represented sectors in this field. Everything is free.
“One of the most important events organized by the community every year is the FemIT conf, a conference on technology with a gender perspective. It is free and open to all public. The event consists of technical talks given by women, lesbians, transvestites, trans and non-binaries. The conference seeks to share technical knowledge and make visible the work of these minority groups with the aim of empowering them and inspiring those who participate”, they explain on the official page.
In dialogue with InfobaeVirgina Barrios, a member of this community explains that there are no cis men on stage where the talks are given, but the meeting is open to the public. “This idea arose to break with the rest of the conferences that we saw that were the classics all male panel (panels only made up of men)”, he says.
They also offer workshops to the community, with the support of different organizations. In this sense, remember that one of the founders of the Latinity community will teach a workshop on Web 3 and another on blockchain
“Some companies offer us introductory courses to some programming language and we offer them within the community for free, with the aim of training all the people who want to start in the IT world,” says Barrios.
Las de Sistemas also has a Slack channel where hold virtual meetings to share information, ideas as well as to offer a space for contention to those who experience situations of discrimination or violence in their jobs.
More Women in Apps
#MásMujeresInApps is a group of women who seek to promote projects that impact gender equality. There are mentors, spokespersons, ambassadors and creators of Projects.
It is an initiative of Alianza In, a guild that brings together digital platforms in Latin America. from this project It seeks to visualize women in technology sectors, in Colombia and abroad, as well as generate opportunities to highlight the presence of women in the sector.
“We firmly believe in the talent and passion that women have and the importance of more girls and young women entering the digital sector without any fear or stigma. They must be driven and inspired by others. Also in this dialogue we seek that organizations generate more employment for more women and that they become more and more entrepreneurs in this digital and technological world” mentioned David Luna, former president of the IN Alliance, in a statement released in August 2021, which It was when this project was presented.
Girls in Tech
It is a non-profit civil society organization born in Argentina and with a regional scope, which since 2015 seeks to reduce the gender gap in the technological entrepreneurial environment at the regional level.
Offers free technology training programs for high school teen girls across the country and region. No previous knowledge is required and they have face-to-face and virtual options.
Within the possibilities, they offer intensive training in technology for social purposes and entrepreneurial skills through workshops and mentoring with people who are benchmarks in the industry.
They also have theme days. whose purpose is that the participants know and relate to different referents of the IT world. At the same time, it is a space for them to interact with different technological applications.
Girls in Technology also offers contests, immersive proposals, training internships and specifically regional proposals for participants from different countries to work together to solve social impact problems with technology.
It is a community made up of Latin women who work in technology who seek to collectively make voices visible and amplify through a network of personal and professional support.
In this sense, it seeks to empower women, make visible and recognize those who are taking their first steps in the industry or already have a more advanced professional career, and motivate those who are launching their projects.
In order to achieve these goals offer mentoring, training, talks and the possibility of collaborating in research that are carried forward.
They also offer special sessions for those who want to venture into the tech world and have a podcast as another space to spread projects and encourage the exchange of ideas.
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