Currently, companies of technology suffer from a chronic problem: lack of skilled labor. This is an industry pain. According to the Brazilian Association of Information and Communication Technology Companies (Brasscom), if this scenario does not change, Brazil will have a deficit of 270 thousand IT professionals and an estimated loss of revenue of R$ 167 billion by 2024.

However, for this cruel problem in the area of TI, there are solutions that can easily solve. One of them is to increase the role of women in the technology market which, according to the Institute Brazilian of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), is currently only 20%.

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A small number if we consider everything that women have achieved in recent years. It is strange to observe that the first algorithm to be processed by a machine was made by the English mathematician and writer Ada Lovelace, in 1843.

In addition, we had Dorothy Vaughan, an African American who worked at NASA and did great things in the 1950s within the corporation, Grace Hopper, who invented the first compiler and led to the development of COBOL, and Margaret Hamilton, director of the MIT laboratory responsible for developing the flight program used by the Apollo 11 project – the first mission that took us to the moon. And even with so many important examples we are still far from occupying a prominent place and protagonism.

You may even have never heard the name of these women, and when we talk about creating the entire technological universe, just Bill Gates or Steve Jobs come to mind. Of course they are key people in technological development, but it is necessary to remember those who also did a lot to build this history and left a legacy.

Turning the key is the way

The point is that inequality persists to this day and it is not so simple to change this scenario. We have cultural issues that are already ingrained, in which we link technology positions to the male universe and there is a series of discourses so that women do not get involved in such a profession.

This is one of the issues that most hinders the insertion of women in this market. Therefore, encouraging and bringing possible paths for them to occupy positions and qualify is of paramount importance and it deserves to be on the agenda not only of Brazilian universities, but it should also be a flag raised by companies, especially for them to invest in gender equality .

It is noteworthy that, according to the IBGE, female IT professionals have a higher level of education than men in the sector in Brazil, but even so, earn 34% less.

According to the human resources company Revelo, the difference in remuneration offered to men and women in the technology sector was 22,4% in 2017 and rose to 23,4% in 2019. In numbers, the average salary proposal for women in 2019 was R$5.531, while the average for men was R$6.829.

A glaring difference that shows how much the market needs to mature to receive women who want to dedicate themselves to a career in the technology area. According to a survey carried out by Yoctoo, a recruitment and selection consultancy specializing in IT, 63% of the women interviewed say that it is in companies where prejudice occurs most. For them, the biggest challenge is having to prove their own technical competence at all times (82%). Next, there is the difficulty in being respected by male peers, superiors and subordinates (51%).

In addition, 49% highlight gender bias within companies, 48% report the lack of female representation in the area, as a way to inspire more women to pursue technology careers, followed by 39% who highlight the lack of opportunities in selection processes .

Overcoming prejudice and achieving opportunities

Even in the face of a tough scenario and with little incentive, women have, little by little, conquered their space. In this way, we are witnessing important changes, small ones, but which must be celebrated. In the last five years, female participation in technology areas grew 60% — from 27,9 thousand women to 44,5 thousand in 2019, according to data from the General Register of Employed and Unemployed (Caged).

If change continues at this pace, the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) believes that, in ten years, the participation of women in the Brazilian labor market should grow more than that of men in many segments — science and technology are some of them their.

We still have a lot of struggle and effort ahead of us to get where we want. Along the way, we need to break some paradigms, make cultural changes and fight gender inequality. But little by little we are winning and conquering our space in this world of technology.

* Alessandra Montini is director of LabData, FIA

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