In this era of #MeToo, it’s a great time to celebrate women who never hold back—and who fearlessly imagine, create, develop, discover, and lead. The 2018 Connected World Women of M2M or as we now refer IoT (Internet of Things) award winners epitomize women’s strength, smarts, charisma, dedication, and staying power.
They have led companies worldwide into new IoT realms with their cutting-edge research, advocacy of cooperative cultures, and dedication to empowering young women who will follow their lead.
And their efforts to share the wealth are paying off. Young women today are 33% more likely to study computer science compared with women born before 1983, according to a Women In Tech 2018 Report done by HackerRank, a developer hiring platform.
This same study shows the gender gap in terms of kids learning to code is shrinking. Today, the percentage point gap between boys and girls who learn to code before age 16 stands at 7—compared with a 20 percentage point gap among their peers who are now older than 35.
Yet we all know there’s a ways to go. Though the percentages are increasing, girls represent 27% of students taking the AP computer science exam in the United States, and women make up 18% of American computer science college degrees.
A 2017 study by the Office of the Chief Economist found that:
- Women filled 47% of all U.S. jobs, but held only 24% of STEM jobs.
- Women make up slightly more than half of college-educated workers, but account for only 25% of college-educated STEM workers.
- Women with STEM degrees are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM occupation. Women are more likely to work in education or healthcare.
A separate study published in Psychology of Women Quarterly in February presented women in STEM with this scenario: A professor asks all of the women in a class to stay after class for extra help, but not any of the men.
Asked about it, the women in STEM were more likely than men to think that the women asked to stay behind experienced anxiety or self-doubt because of factors like instructor bias or being aware of stereotypes about women in STEM. Men were more likely to think that the anxiety stemmed from just not being prepared enough for the class.
Just last year, Harvard Business Review investigated a company where women comprise 20% of the senior roles. It found that women weren’t moving up to executive roles as quickly as men, even though their work ethics and results were virtually the same.
Prudential’s Harris Poll, a survey of thousands of American employees, reveals disparities between genders in retirement savings, investment allocation, and financial preparedness, as well as levels of stress.
However, new research is increasingly revealing that companies’ profits, productivity, and even innovation are impacted when employees perceive bias. Bias continues to hinder many companies and is limiting the growth of very high achieving performers.
The findings, by the Center for Talent Innovation, reveals that of employees who experience bias, 34% reported withholding ideas or creative solutions during the last six months. What’s more, 48% say they searched for new jobs while at their current positions during the same period.
The good news is that there are three key factors that sheds light on solutions. Employees are 64% less likely to perceive bias at companies with diverse leaders; 87% less likely when they have inclusive leaders, and 90% less likely when they have sponsors.
Women benefit when they feel welcomed in STEM careers. Federal data also indicates that women with STEM jobs earned 35% more than women with comparable non-STEM jobs. Women with STEM jobs also earned 40% more than men with non-STEM jobs.
Taking this information into consideration the WoM2M have followed their own paths and have not let the aforementioned limit their possibilities. Many of the women on the 2018 list have successfully maneuvered the work-family balance and have overcome the challenges and roadblocks put before them. These women have created their own support “tribes,” so to speak. They know how to work and support teams. They encourage and motivate others to reach their personal bests. They are the nurturers. They are forces to be reckoned with. They are constantly building trust with their teams.
So let’s celebrate the women who are showing us the way, whether that’s expanding a supply-chain planning and services company to 18 worldwide locations, or leading a team of IoT subject-matter experts who help customers deploy IoT solutions around the globe, or overseeing an agribusiness giant’s digital laboratory for the IoT ranging from wearables, to digital twins, to augmented reality. Please take a moment to send a congratulatory email or tweet to each of the amazing women on this year’s WoM2M/IoT list. – by Sandra Guy, contributing writer and Peggy Smedley, editorial director