An educational focus to attract young women to life sciences has in my view not been particularly successful. You wonder if there even is a focus to change/develop perceptions of educational choices in certain schools and universities. If in focus and addressed it would play a major part in women’s career choices from an early age, I’d argue.
My daughter’s senior school puts a huge emphasis on maths and IT studies. I see the breath of the students both boys and girls equally involved. Math may not be sexy but this school has made something worthwhile to get involved with. I commend them for that. A step in the right direction.
Intimidation in a (for now) male orientated work place still play a major part as to why women may not rise to top positions or why they leave positions for other sectors faster than men. It can be both lonely and intimidating when you often represent a minority. A male orientated board room environment can also lead to the assumption that in order to get by at top level in technology, women have to think, dress, speak as men, whereas strong female attributes such as empathy, emotional intelligence, can have a positive contributing impact in any board room.
Lack of political voices plays a part too. It’s critical for any society to represent breadth and depth of a country. Allowing talented people regardless of gender to grow and contribute to the future of any country’s technology advancement should be top of any political agenda in my view.
I don’t believe in placing women in top positions for the sake of equal agenda and balance. Full stop. But I do believe that society, education and politicians have a duty to represent more than stereotypical thinking. May the best man or woman get the job, but let it be a fair context. Technology is a great sector – go for it, ladies and gents!