Sexism is a monster that continues to be tackled in various industries across the world. The phenomenon has contributed towards many unfair labour practices, with some individuals even taking legal action as recourse.
Although in some instances it may be quite clear what is defined as a “hostile workplace environment” sometimes it’s not always so clear.
An industry that has been making the news in recent months for its poor representation of women is the tech industry. Silicon Valley has seen droves of women jumping ship as a result of mainly the beast that is sexism.
According to advocacy organisation “Women in Tech,” only 23% of tech jobs in South Africa are held by women. Fin24 adds that “Gender patterns in South Africa mirror those in Silicon Valley.”
There’s a strong need to rebuild traditionally patriarchal structures within the industry. This former boys club needs to evolve with the times, but it seems this is taking longer than anticipated.
A major contributory factor is often the fact that those with the power to change things deny or completely ignore or dismiss the problem.
An alarming fact: women often question whether or not anything ever happened, or whether or not they’re being “too sensitive.” Furthermore, women of colour often face a double blow of having to jump through race hoops as well as over gender hurdles.
With the expansion of tech companies worldwide, more young girls should ideally be empowered to gain more knowledge about the tech industry, be it through more STEM education efforts, or by simply making more information available.
Hopefully it’s only a matter of time before we see tangible changes in the number of women working within the tech industry and influencing global culture.