Women & Technology 1999 – 2009

Since everyone has been doing their decade blog posts I thought it might be a good idea to look back through the last 10 years of women in technology and see how the industry has changed during this time.

Many of you already know that I tend to keep an eye on what’s in the news in the Women Tech arena well here’s a nice way to see the last decade’s worth of news and a whole lot more on Women and Technology. As such today I went in search of a useful tool to show the last 10 years of news around the subject. I started off looking for the Google Search in the old style views and then gave up on that. It was just too slow, so I went onto Google Labs and found Google News Timeline! It’s so handy! Here’s the Timeline for Women Technology from this past year going back through the last week, month, year, decade and so on! (click on the image below!)

Google News Timeline for Women & Technology

Amazingly back in 1999 some of the top news stories were similar to those of today with people stating Women are good at Technology and so on… but yet there were articles about MIT stating they were tough on women in their tech courses. There were calls for more women to come into technology, film requests for student females in on tech courses and so on! The shortage of women in technology was identified and a call for more women to join the industry was also made!

When you start looking through the time line you can see there is a more general positive trend towards women in the technology industry, however despite role models being identified in national and international news papers as well as lots of groups and organizations trying to make a difference there are still comments about the declining numbers entering the profession in 2008. There are many yearly awards given out to those in top senior management slots who are women in the technology industry, however this too doesn’t lead to additional people. Many are arguing that these sort of awards are hindering rather than helping the industry. Meanwhile there are efforts by large corporates to invest money in their own centres for women in technology which to date haven’t seen any hard and fast results. In the meantime groups like Girl Geek Dinners, Women in Technology and Girls in Tech have been built up by the technology community for the community as a result of members of the community feeling a need for it.

After doing the search for Women and Technology I decided to see what came up when looking for Women Technology relate grants. Now that brought up a very interesting pattern. The news suggested that whilst numbers were declining there have been more and more funds being put into the industry to help combat the problem over the years.

So over all assuming that the news articles and the general upward trend towards positive press for the technology industry and support for those in it, you would anticipate 2010 being the year that women and technology became normal! Well here’s hoping!

Bonus Note: If you know of any funds for women who wish to re-skill in terms of grants and funds then please can you get in touch and let us know. We’re looking to help those who want to retrain to find a job in the IT industry and we need your help doing so!

About Sarah Lamb

Sarah is a freelance writer with a masters degree in Computer Science. Sarah writes about innovation, technology and social media. She has a keen interest in gender diversity with the IT sector and founded Girl Geek Dinners in 2005

6 thoughts on “Women & Technology 1999 – 2009

  1. I am not sure if I agree with your post here. See you do make the best point, I don’t think you have actually given a large amount of thought to the opposite side of the argument. Perhaps I could do a guest post or a follow-up, just tell me.

    • Send over what you have in mind, I’ll review it and if I think it’s appropriate I’ll set you up a guest account and we’ll post it. How does that sound. :) If it doesn’t seem like enough for a post we’ll pop it in the comments for this post and people can thrash it out! 😉

  2. Hi Sarah – great overview – as you know it’s also something I am so aware of and have been over the years – However there’s more and more stuff happening over here (in Denmark) around women in tech which is fantastic – I have been battling the “female entrepreneur” label recently – also =)