In 2022, technology lives in all parts of our lives – from workspaces to kitchen appliances. The pandemic has rapidly accelerated the digital revolution, where remote work helped make it safer for employees to show up and get the job done. Technology is helping us tackle problems big and small, but the people behind the technology do not represent the diversity of the broader community. This is an issue that Genesys Works NYC (GWNYC) and our corporate partners are actively working together to address.
Women are significantly underrepresented in tech jobs. Studies indicate that women make up less than a quarter of jobholders in technology. How do we inspire more women to pursue careers in tech? In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are sharing how GWNYC works to #breakthebias toward greater equity in tech.
Fighting Bias in Tech
The technology field is fast transforming, but one element is more difficult to change: gender bias. A 2021 report published by Skillsoft gives insight into the challenges women face when pursuing tech careers. Findings indicate that 59 percent of women wish their employers provided more training, emphasizing how opportunities like certifications can make a difference.
According to the Pew Research Center, though job opportunities in STEM have continued to grow since the 1990s, women have not become a more significant percentage of the STEM workforce (especially in IT fields). Actually, the number of women in tech has continued to decrease. Widespread gender bias in STEM jobs is a contributing factor, with half of all women reporting discrimination, according to one survey.
GWNYC’s Solution to Gender Bias
Genesys Works NYC is committed to providing solutions that end bias and underrepresentation in tech by training and coaching the future workforce. GWNYC collaborates with corporate partners to develop workforce opportunities that push back against racial, social, and economic injustice in New York City. Access is the name of the game to attract and maintain women in STEM careers. This spans connections to corporate internships and enrollment in targeted training programs. Through Genesys Works NYC, young women enroll in eight weeks of intensive professional and technical training, and earn placement in paid, yearlong corporate internships with companies such as JP Morgan Chase, Kirkland & Ellis, and PayPal. GWNYC’s program continues to provide coaching and support to supervisors and interns alike, ensuring that youth are empowered to succeed at their work.
One of our partners, Jennifer Selig, IT Director at Kirkland & Ellis and GWNYC Board Member, knows firsthand the impact of direct support and coaching for women in IT. “As a woman in tech,” she shared, “I have witnessed the barriers that make it harder for women to get in the door and receive the same support as their male counterparts. When we work with GWNYC interns, not only are we leveraging local talent, but we see the difference that upskilling makes. These interns are set up to succeed, and we’re proud to see them thrive in our IT department.”
When interns gain access to and experience at our corporate partners, they develop confidence in their abilities to pursue paths that were previously blocked by bias. Similarly, supervisors working with interns from historically underrepresented communities gain exposure to the future workforce, which helps prepare them to break down biases and make advancements in their own workplaces. GWNYC’s partnerships with corporations have contributed to 20 female interns joining IT teams thus far – and we’re just getting started. This exposure to the tech field helps young women gain the confidence to pursue careers in STEM, continuing to break the bias in the workforce.
Learn more about Genesys Works NYC and our commitment to meaningful work opportunities for all here.