written by @francafly
LET’S BALANCE THE EQUATION
Have you ever wondered why there seem to be more men than women in the science and technology sector? Go through the statistics and it is very alarming the difference in ratio of the number of men in the Technology department to that of women.
Across the technology sector there is a major disparity between men and women. While 57 percent of occupations in the workforce are held by women, in computing occupations that figure is only 25 percent. Of chief information officer jobs (CIOs) at Fortune 250 companies, 20 percent were held by a woman in 2012. In 1985, 37 percent of undergraduates’ degree recipients in computer science were women. By 2010 that fell to 18 percent and at major research universities across the world the number was 14 percent.
Certain reasons have been giving for accounting for the low percentage of women in technology. They include: Limited education, Hiring discrimination, Pay discrimination and Pigeon holding. These reasons may be right in a sense but I believe that there is more to it than meets the eye.
I am a twenty something year old young African woman and personally, I have never had any liking for Math, Science or any other technology related courses. If you want to know how bad my situation is then you might have to ask my former colleagues in school. The mere sight of a calculator was enough to ruin my day. I hated mental in primary school and if you asked me to list my teachers according to an order of preference, my math and science teachers would be at the bottom. In short, I disliked math and science with a passion!
But with the current statistics and personal observation so far, I am very convinced I might not be alone in this situation. Back in SHS, there were very few science girls as compared to the art classes. In the mixed schools, the boys in science classes far outnumbered their female colleagues. Take a visit to any of the building technology classes in KNUST and the ratio of boys to girls in the class is very alarming.
I believe the society has a lot to do with this phenomenon. The way we are brought up contributes a lot to what we become in future. Just maybe if we began changing a few things, we would be seeing a lot of changes. At the just ended Woman 2.1 summit organized in Accra, we were given a little revelation by Anne Welsh from the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation.
If you come to this world a boy, the first toys your Parents buy for you usually include robots, toy heroes, electrical gadgets like mini airplanes and toy cars. If it is a girl, it is mostly a collection of Barbie dolls and their home kits.
So what happens is, whiles the boy grows up trying to dissect and find out how the robot works, what components were used to make the car and what mechanism the airplane goes by, his female counterpart is only interested in carrying a real baby so she can comb real hair and change real diapers.
I cannot agree less with this, it is very true. What this means is, before the child is allowed to grow up to even decide for him or herself what he or she wants to become, society has already decided for them. That is why till date when I see a female bus driver I can’t help but marvel at the sight. And it is in the same vein that male beauticians are ridiculed because society has already stipulated roles for each gender.
Maybe it is time to balance the equation and give our younger generation the chance of exploring to finally make that choice of which field they want to be in. So if a baby boy is given toy cars, robots and Barbie dolls, he would not be only interested in seeing what the car is made of or just wanting to become as strong as the robot. But we would also at the same time be bringing up our boys to be more sensitive humans.
In the same way if we should balance the kind of toys we give to our girls, we would not have young women whose only aim in life is to grow up, get married and give birth to real babies so they can perform all the activities they did for Barbie when they were young.
Let’s balance the equation!
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