Women in Tech world: A History

Young Muslim businesswoman in hijab looking at computer screen while typing


Women were always really important in the history of computing, and it can be affirmed with some examples:

  • Ada Lovelace (creator of the first algorithm in history);
  • Margaret Hamilton (who developed the software that took a man to the moon);
  • Karen Spärck Jones (laid the groundwork for search engines);
  • Donna Dubinsky (launched the predecessors of smartphones).

    Ada Lovelace
    Ada Lovelace

They, like many others that were not recognized, made important milestones in technology. Unfortunately, they were never highlighted because even if they wanted to participate in scientific productions and knew a lot about it, it was a male area and their request to participate was always denied.

In 1970 there was the oil crisis that affected the Brazilian economy, which made businessmen hire women as an alternative to spending less money since their salary was lower. This event, known as the beginning of postmodernism, started with the culture that women have a lower salary compared to men. And this culture exists until today, even if women try more, they still receive less. This happens because of the sexist and patriarchal society that devalues women.


Main difficulties

For women to conquer their space in the tech area, several cultural barriers must be broken down, such as the fact that scientists are lonely and antisocial. This turns women away since they are considered talkative and naive. Another important point that should leave people’s minds is that motherhood removes women from the labor market and make them more unproductive, while fatherhood does not have these problems as it is considered, by many, woman’s work to raise their children and take all the responsibilities.

The biggest difficulty women face when entering the tech world is culture. The professions related to I.T. are predominantly male. Those women can’t see themselves in this market because of:

  • Most of their leaders are men, so there is no one who they can take as an example;
  • Face more difficulties in the hiring process and have to show themselves more competent than a man to get a job;
  • Be asked about children, with who they can stay during the day, and if she wants to have some;
  • Difficulty with being heard in a company;
  • Lower salary than a man who does the same job.

Sulamita Garcia (2004) said that people believe that women do not understand the technology and can not understand it, and many people think they don’t like computers and think it’s too difficult. This and many other barriers and consequences of society raise girls to focus on being housewives and mothers only, including games. While male childhood games are focused on encouraging independence, problem-solving, etc. In other words, the low demand for women for technological jobs can be linked with the encouragement of children and teenagers to look for a hobby and interests, which are still divided by gender.

In the last few decades, the number of women entering the technological market increased, but they are still a great minority in the world. A study made by Univates about the presence of women in tech courses and graduations is notable a small increase, but constant, happy.



COVID-19 caused a lot of challenges for lots of people around the world, and wouldn’t be different with the tech industry. But the pandemic was now fair, it had a different impact on each one, including women in the tech field. They had disproportionate challenges in balancing their lives with work, job insecurity, access to resources, etc.

Schools closed, which forced lots of women to be caregivers to their children and family members all day. That is a good reason that they had difficulty baçancing their personal lives and responsibilities at home, with careers. And more, with remote work, the lines between work and home have become increasingly blurred, leading to longer work hours, which further exacerbates the work-life balance challenge.

A big factor that made women impacted by the pandemic was the insecurity with their j0b as many companies were forced to reduce the workforce and cut salaries. Unfortunately, women were disproportionately impacted, losing their jobs or reducing hours of work, having, consequently, financial problems.

However, some companies have recognized the impact of the pandemic on women in tech and have implemented initiatives to support their employees. For example, some companies have provided additional paid leave or flexible work hours to support employees’ caregiving responsibilities. Others have implemented virtual mentorship programs or networking events to help women in tech stay connected and supported during these challenging times.



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