A deep rooted issue
With many initiatives to bring women into the field and increasing numbers of women STEM graduates, the retention rate remains at the forefront of issues in this lack of diversity. The quit rate for women is over twice that of men in the technology industry (NCWIT). Why? USA Today reports that “Toxic workplaces — where harassment, stereotyping and bullying occur — are driving away women and people of color, undercutting technology companies' efforts to increase diversity and costing an estimated $16 billion a year.” Not only does this alarming trend present a clear disadvantage for women, but tech companies themselves are also losing profits. This pervasive inequality requires reformation beyond simply increasing recruitment efforts or quotas for women.
Our work to close the tech gender gap so far
Having women mentors, role-models, and colleagues creates better company cultures and a space to both express and resolve concerns, addressing the currently elevated quit rate.
The status of women in data
As Le Wagon launches its new Data Science bootcamp, we look to bring our same gender parity efforts to the data community. In 2019, Burtch Works recruitment agency found that just 17% of data scientists are women. The inequality issue begins in university and increases with specialization, according to a recent study conducted by BCG.
Working together for change
To combat these discouraging figures and encourage women in all stages of their careers, groups such as Women in Machine Learning and Data Science (WiMLDS) work tirelessly to promote women in the field through talks, events, hackathons, and workshops.
Sharing Le Wagon’s global mindset, WiMLDS now runs over 30 chapters around the world. United by our shared vision of gender parity in data science, we have decided to partner with WiMLDS Montréal for our upcoming Women’s Data Day.
Teaching the basics of programming with Python, a popular data science language, as well as analysis of concrete business cases using real-world datasets, Women’s Data day will immerse women into the life of a data analyst.
To those who excel in these courses and feel inspired to further pursue a career in tech, we will offer 5 motivated women $CAD 1 000 off of our full-time data science bootcamp - a 9 week intensive program that will prepare students to join a data science team upon graduation. By building an open and inclusive network, encouraging women to enter the tech sphere through free introductory courses, and providing partial scholarships, we can work towards a diverse and balanced field.
Looking to the future
With plenty of evidence that gender diversity generates more revenue, boosts business performance, and creates more innovative companies, encouraging women to enter and stay in the tech industry clearly benefits all parties. Through active efforts from all tech companies, we have the power to create an inclusive environment and provide the tools women need to thrive - furthering not only their success, but the success of the tech industry as a whole.