Women are needed in tech industry
The answer can be summed up in one word: innovation. Finding solutions to many of the big problems of this century, including climate change, universal access to water, disease, and renewable energy, will require the skills of engineers and computer scientists. When women are not well represented in these fields, everyone misses out on the novel solutions that diverse participation brings.
Diversity Generates more revenue. According to Forbes, high-gender-diversity companies deliver slightly better returns, and they have outperformed, on average, less diverse companies over the past five years. Companies that not only hire but also manage to retain more women put themselves in a position to automatically gain a competitive advantage, extending the benefits to all stakeholders.
On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, let us harness the power of innovation and technology as drivers of change, and work together to empower all women and girls across the science fields. By sharing stories of women in tech, we can inspire and motivate more girls and women to choose STEAM, so that they too can make a difference. To raise the challenges of the 21st century, we need to harness our full potential, that requires dismantling gender stereotypes.
When it comes to the VR / Tech industry
There is a well-documented diversity problem amongst men and women in the workplace. A 2017 survey (Venture Beat) revealed that men still hold most technical roles within VR and AR companies. In the VR industry, we find it interesting to tell stories about women professionals that can inspire others. One of the most innovative, creative, and inventive women every girl interested or not in interested in keeping up-to-date with VR, should know Nonny de la Peña, the Godmother of VR.
Nonny de la Peña is a virtual reality pioneer who has used VR to bring viewers up close to and inside of the stories of a variety of people. She is the CEO and Founder of Emblematic Group, an award-winning VR/AR/XR company filled with leading producers, filmmakers, journalists, designers, and veteran game developers of immersive virtual reality content. She is regarded by many as the “Godmother of VR”, is recognized as one of the most influential people of the VR/AR industry, and was given the award WSJ Technology Innovator of the Year.
Nonny de la Peña has been a journalist for her whole life. She has always been compelled to make stories that can make a difference and inspire people. When she discovered VR, she knew the power it had as a “visceral empathy generator” that could be used for next-level type storytelling. Fast Company tagged Nonny as “One of the People Who Made the World More Creative”.
As an influential leader in the VR community, Virtualware is honoured to have her be a part of this initiative to further inspire young girls to go after their dreams. Join us in celebrating women and girls who are leading innovation and let’s help them remove the barriers that are holding them back. With this video, we want to recognize the critical role of women and girls in the technology community, and to thank all women for pursuing their passion.
Women in STEAM who have changed the world
Among the Nobel Prize winners on the list of 40 remarkable women are Emmanuelle Charpentier, chemistry, 2020, Jennifer Doudna, chemistry, 2020, Frances Arnold, chemistry, 2018, Donna Strickland, physics, 2018, and Ada Yonath, chemistry, 2009, along with such other notable STEM leaders as Carolyn Bertozzi, Daphne Koller, Naomi Oreskes, Karen Bausman, Pauline Byakika-Kibwika, Ingrid Daubechies, and Jocelyn Bell Burnell.
These women exert a profound impact over critical areas of science through developments such as cryptography, environmental sustainability, human genome editing, and much more. The influencers featured include groundbreaking biochemists, leading-edge technologists, and top environmental scientists. They are professors, department chairs, and university presidents, working to improve everything from the health of our environment and the capacity of our technology to our safety in public spaces and even our life expectancy. Through their influential ideas, the women highlighted here to continue to shape the current STEAM landscape in far-reaching and exciting ways.
“We need you, we need women in this field, they bring unique different perspectives, they are gonna make these fields stronger and better. And even when sometimes you get told weird things, weird thins have said to you, I´ve faced that”
Nonny de la Peña
We need to help to change the data
According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) data, less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women, and only around 30 per cent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3%), natural science, mathematics, and statistics (5%) and in engineering, manufacturing, and construction (8%).
However, a research (2019) by HP and Fawcett Society showed that up to 70% of young women would be interested in a tech career.
Why are there so few women in steam?
Girls and women are systematically tracked away from science and math throughout their educations, limiting their training and options to go into these fields as adults. Moreover, girls have fewer role models to inspire their interest in these fields, seeing limited examples of female scientists and engineers in books, media and popular culture. There are even fewer role models of Black women in math and science.
In response, on 22 December 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established 11th of February The International Day of Women and Girls in Science to recognize the critical role women and girls play in science and technology communities.
Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science. Yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in tech and science.