Wanjiku Gatua
Support Women in Tech

As we wrap up Women's History Month, it's essential to reflect on the challenges women in tech still face and how we can support them. Despite significant contributions to the tech industry throughout history, women are still underrepresented and face systemic barriers, even in Iowa. Supporting women in STEM, especially women of color, is a matter of social responsibility and a way to promote innovation and diversity within the industry.

Tech can be creative and fun! Introducing girls to coding and tech at a young age can excite them and change misconceptions about the field. The younger, the better. Technology can change lives and help people in many unique ways. Check out opportunities for hands-on learning, like coding classes or camps, or try tech-related events and meetups. These opportunities can provide meaningful learning experiences that make coding more engaging and exciting.

Once women enter the industry, increasing access to education and training is an important step to take. Including investing in programs that provide women with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the tech industry. Internships, mentorship opportunities, and other training programs help women gain practical experience and develop fundamental skills. Additionally, these opportunities help develop strong professional networks and can help women connect with experts in the industry. Think about supporting organizations such as Black Girls Code, an organization devoted to building pathways for women of color to enter the tech space. Sit With Me is another excellent campaign used to acknowledge and celebrate the need for women's technical contributions while providing resources and tools to help companies create a more equitable and inclusive workplace. Her Tech Collaborative is another organization that is doing fantastic work (here in Iowa!) inspiring women in all stages of their careers. They are dedicated to closing the gender gap in tech and bringing women together to network, discuss critical issues, and learn about job opportunities.

It's also essential to address the gender pay gap in tech. Women in tech still earn less than their male counterparts, which creates an unequal playing field and perpetuates gender inequality. Try conducting regular pay audits in your company, and provide paid endeavors for students to gain experience in the industry. Investing in mentorship and internship opportunities for students not only provides meaningful experiences for students but also can grow your business. Also, consider using a gendered posting tool for job postings. This can ensure that the descriptions are written in an inclusive and equitable way, avoiding language that may discourage or exclude qualified women from applying for positions.

Here at Bio::Neos, we're committed to supporting women in tech and creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace. We're proud to partner with organizations that promote diversity and provide education and training for underrepresented communities. We're also committed to addressing bias and discrimination in the industry and ensuring that all employees have equal opportunities to succeed. 

Special thanks to Deb Walton, Michelle Knedler, Marissa West & Laura Christenson from Leapfrog Technologies, Inc. for their insight on how to support women in tech. Happy Women's History Month!