Women need not justify their place in the technology industry

Women are no longer an anomaly in the technology industry, although we speak of them as if they were. We noticed that there were fewer women than men in the technological fields and decided to correct the matter. However, I will venture to claim that the matter does not need to be corrected and as an engineer I trust the figures.

According to Statistics Finland, up to 70 per cent of women, who started their technology studies in 2002, had completed their degree by 2012. The corresponding figure for men was 55 per cent. The percentage of women to pass their studies was higher than that of men in all fields of technology.

According to Statistics Finland, in 2012 women, who had completed a PhD were more likely to find employment than men with a PhD. Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland, TEK, a labour market organisation for academically educated persons in the technologies, has some 14,600 members, who are women.  

According to a report published by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA in 2013, 40 per cent of companies in the technology industry reported that their number of female managers and directors had grown during the past 5 years.

In-spite of all of this, we establish programmes and communities, the sole purpose of which is to justify the place of women in the world of technology and encourage women to enter the industry. We search for a justification for our place, as if centuries of male-dominancy are a sign that women are not suited to work in the fields of technology, although the aforementioned figures state the exact opposite.

We do not need so-called good reasons to include women in the technology industry. Neither, do we need examples of successful women to prove that women too can be accomplished in the technology industry. We do not need to provide Pisa results to demonstrate that girls can also be good at maths.  

A woman, who is successful in the technologies, is not the exception that proves the rule. We make the rules, and as the figures demonstrate all of us, regardless of gender, have a helluva lot of potential.

Further information:

Riina Salmimies, LUT Director of Research and Innovation Services, tel. +358 40 197 7795, riina.salmimies@lut.fi