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Barriers women face in technology careers

by Evalyne Ndanu
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The reason for highlighting the barriers women face in technology is so that awareness can be created on these factors.
Awareness increases our consciousness and allows us to limit the possibilities of falling prey to the barriers. Here are some of the barriers women face in technology careers.

Imposter syndrome.
Many of the women have suffered from this at one point or another. Thinking that they didn’t have sufficient knowledge in the technology domain. Doubting the very skills that they have and have taken time to build. Imposter syndrome makes many women downplay their abilities. This leads to many women under-performing or constantly stressed and pressed to the wall. In an exclusive interview with Quinta Onditi, she stated that this was one of the barriers she overcame.

Gender bias.
Gender bias in this context is prejudice against women because of their sex-based social structures or gender identity.
For example if a man and woman are getting interviewed for the same technology role that involves lots of outdoor activities like in the telecommunications, the probability of the man getting hired is higher based on the gender identity.
Gender bias also comes in when we talk about Unequal duties at the work place and Unequal pay for the same skills and job.



Women are generally considered to be less passionate to matters concerning Technology and STEM Careers. They tend to be more associated to “easier” tasks like office management and reports compilation. This misconception probably stems from a cultural perspective.

Self-efficacy refers to the beliefs about your abilities to effectively perform tasks. It doesn’t refer to your abilities rather how strongly you can use your abilities to achieve your goals.
It is a concept originally proposed by the psychologist Albert Bandura,
Women in the field of technology have low self-efficacy. This means that their ability to make huge accomplishments in the field and their general performance in the field is compromised.

Different standards.
When it comes to things like promotions, women are less likely to be promoted. From Yale Insights, Prof.Kelly Shue and her co-authors found that “Women got higher performance ratings than men but were consistently – and incorrectly – judges as having less leadership potential.”

Few female mentors and leaders.
Many strides are being made in the right direction regards female mentors and leaders. However, the gap is still there. There still remains the need to have more females in the technology field. Lack of enough people to look up to in the industry creates the illusion that maybe the field doesn’t indeed accommodate women. AWIT has been able to create a platform to address this challenge. There is an option of becoming a mentor and finding a mentor.

Unfriendly training environments.
There are training environments that are indeed very harsh and unwelcoming. An example is when people don’t believe that they can deliver and make comments like, ‘Isn’t there a male colleague to help with this?’, ‘I don’t think you can be able to handle our internet issues’, ‘Are you sure you are from the IT department?’ This comments and sometimes bad jokes fuel the unfriendly working environments.

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