*Source: Atlas Studio* The first week of March marks the beginning of Women’s History Month, a month-long celebration to honor women’s contributions and achievements that allowed them the opportunities and freedom today. The blueprints set by women of the past who fought for their right to vote are now led by women of today, fighting for equal pay, fair treatment in the workplace, sexual and reproductive freedom, and more. We have come a long way and witnessed many positive changes throughout our history in terms of women’s position in society. With this society evolving at a rate higher than ever, we still have a long way to go in achieving a standard as well as living in a world where women are represented accurately and their accomplishments are well taught and respected. In the last two decades, we have witnessed the evolution of technology at the highest rate. We recognize men left and right that are titans of tech industries such as Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and many more. Credits where credit’s due: this group of men is a pinnacle of today’s tech-dependent society and we would not get this far without their contributions. However, the percentage of women in tech remains at only with very little growth over the last decade, while the female labor force comprised of the total labor force in the United States. The statistics itself shows that there is, and has always been, room for growth in female representation in the tech industry, and in the labor workforce in general. 25% 46% “When we invest in women and girls, we are investing in people who invests in everyone else” -Melinda Gates Why We Need More Women in Tech Multiple studies have shown recurring reasons for the aforementioned numbers such as the pay gap, gender discrimination, and male-dominated work culture. There is hardly any shortage of men in the realm of technology. And just like any other sector, today’s tech-dependent society cannot reach its full potential until women reach their full potential. Bringing balance into the workplace with inclusivity of all genders, sexual orientation, backgrounds, and ethnicity can create a dynamic atmosphere allowing space for more growth beyond where we are now. It helps generate innovation, creativity, revenue, and a lasting impact on the future generation. Innovation and Creativity Nature has scripted our brains to have a unique perspective, however, when you’re in a room full of like-minded people, you only tend to generate like-minded ideas. When this happens, no matter how good the ideas are, it is less likely to get challenged with alternate viewpoints, often leaving very little space for growth. To put it simply, women think differently than men and bring something unique to the table. Bringing in a mix of genders with diverse ethnicities and backgrounds should be a top priority in tech industries. Revenue Companies have shown from time to time that increasing gender diversity and inclusivity in their workplace generates more revenue, yields better returns, and outperforms those with lesser gender diversity. When surveyed 22,000 firms worldwide, it was found that companies with 30% female workers “experienced a 15% increase in profitability in comparison to those with little or no gender diversity”. Peterson Institute for International Economics Moreover, by increasing the gender diversity of leadership positions in the tech industry, companies have been shown to improve their financial performance with better innovation and creative inputs. Companies, where at least 8 out of 20 managers were female, reported an from innovative products and services. increase of 34% in their revenue Impact Future Generation The tech industry must make it a priority to cultivate its environment and invest in the younger female generations to achieve their full potential. This can be done in various ways. First, we must break the stereotypes by welcoming more women, creating a more inclusive workplace, and filling up the pay gaps. Not only do women hold less than a fifth of tech jobs in the United States, but it has also been shown that they quit at a higher rate than men due to a lack of career advancement opportunities, wage disparity, and a lack of work-life balance. This certainly calls for a desperate need for change in order to encourage future generations of females to get into the field of technology. 45% This story celebrates Women’s History Month in two ways: recognizing today’s top three women in tech and their accomplishments, and three initiatives that aim to encourage more women into the field of technology. There are plenty of female leaders other than the ones that are mentioned below that have made an equally significant impact in the world today. This list cannot take them all into account but it certainly presents the best role models who advocate for more female representation and empowerment in the technology industry. Top 3 Most Influential Women in Tech Today Lisa Su Lisa Su is the current CEO of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and a part of an elite group of women who are running the Fortune 500 companies. Before transitioning to a leadership role, her background was in engineering where she focused on products, customers, and the business aspect. Since she took the leading role in 2014, AMD stock price took a turn from less than $2 a share to $110 as of today (March 31st). Now, as the CEO, her main focus is to lead the company by overseeing its operations and communicating its objectives. Lisa Su is pushing the tech industry to increase its number of female employees by setting up learning labs at AMD for underrepresented groups of people and helping them pursue careers in STEM. Reshma Saujani Reshma Saujani is the CEO and founder of . Before she founded the nonprofit organization, she ran for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in New York’s 14th congressional district. Although she didn’t win a seat in congress, she mentioned in an interview that running for congress was “the best experience” of her life because it taught her to be brave. Despite being a “ ”, she gained “experience in raising money and convincing people to invest in her”. As the leader of , she aims to increase the number of women in the computer science field and ultimately decrease gender employment difference and pay gap in the field of technology. Girls Who Code failed politician Girls Who Code Susan Wojcicki Susan Wojcicki is the current CEO of YouTube, the platform of the 21st century with more than a billion monthly users. She was also the 16th employee in Google and became their first marketing manager in 1999. At a time when women in tech were even less represented than today, Wojcicki was one of the driving forces that made Google and YouTube what they are today. She has fought against gender discrimination and advocated for women’s representation in the workplace her whole life, which flourished into initiatives such as special parking spots for expectant mothers, paid parental leaves, and nursing rooms on site. Susan states that work and motherhood are inextricably linked, where being a mother helps her prioritize, be more productive, and make her an even better leader. Top 3 Initiatives for Women to Get into Tech Girls Who Code is an initiative whose aim is to reach girls around the world and close the gender gap in the new entry-level tech jobs by 2030. So far, they have reached 500 million people through online resources, campaigns, and advocacy works. They have also served 450,000 girls, half of which were Black, Latinx, or with low-income status with their available programs. During the pandemic, shifted to virtual programming which allowed them to eliminate geographic barriers and reach out to even more people around the globe. Girls Who Code Girls Who Code Coder Dojo is a 9-year-old foundation that consists of more than 2000 free, open, and local programming clubs for young people. It is currently available in 115 countries with 58,000 members and 12,000 volunteers. holds public events such as DojoCon, club meetings, and other projects that allow young people around the world to gather and share their creatives ideas and inventions. Coder Dojo Coder Dojo Since started in 2011, over 60,000 girls have learned to code and the number of female attendees increased from 29% in 2018 to 40% in 2020. The best thing about is that you don’t have to attend the program to be a part of the foundation. You can make an impact by being a volunteer, contributing your own skill sets regardless of your professional background, and providing support and encouragement to the youths of Coder Dojo Coder Dojo Coder Dojo. Girls In Tech is another non-profit organization with a global community making local impacts. Their local ‘chapters’ consist of cities all over the world that are part of the movement that helps in finding a program that best suits you. Their membership offers a vast set of programs such as boot camps, workshops, and personal development courses. This mentorship program will help you find a mentor, make connections with other women on a similar journey and ultimately help you find the right job for you in tech. currently has over 60,000 participants in its coding, design, and startup boot camps. Girls In Tech free Girls In Tech There are more female figures and female-leading initiatives out there that aim at empowering women and their representation in the world. It is upon us as a society to recognize their incredible efforts and advocate for more.