Businesswoman Randi Zuckerberg helped launch a new program to encourage more women to enter the technology industry workforce on International Women’s Day earlier this week and blasted a “myth” she said may be preventing some women from pursuing careers in tech.
While women make up about half of the U.S. workforce, studies show that they hold only 28% of jobs in the technology sector.
“This is something that has been boggling my mind for over 20 years since I got into tech, because women make up more than of the workforce and more than half of college graduates and yet when I got out to Silicon Valley in the early 2000s, I was the only woman in every room that I was in,” Zuckerberg told Fox News Digital.
ACTRESS VIVICA A. FOX SWIPES AT STIGAMS OF SKILLED TRADE JOBS: ‘STUDYING UP THOSE NAYSAYERS’
Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook Live and founder of HUG, a platform for elevating Web3 creative entrepreneurs, said a common “myth” can account for some of the gender gap in the field. Zuckerberg’s brother, Mark, is CEO of Meta, parent of Facebook.
|META||META PLATFORMS INC.||179.51||-2.18||-1.20%|
“I think part of it is this myth where a lot of people think in order to have a meaningful career in tech you need to be a programmer or a coder,” she said. “So hopefully we can break that myth because there are so many incredible careers inside technology where I think we’re at a point it’s really critical to get more women in the room.”
“We’re starting to see women get into emerging tech fields and the reason why I think that’s so exciting is because you don’t have to fight an uphill battle for women to catch up in already male dominated field,” she added. “We have the opportunity, getting into fields like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, blockchain, to be there at the ground floor when these really revolutionary industries are starting up.”
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: 6 FACTS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GLOBAL CELEBRATION OF WOMEN
Zuckerberg helped launch the Women and Tech Scholars Program with DeVry University Wednesday, which will provide resources for women get their foot in the door in tech. The program, she said, offers hands on mentorship, credentialing, access to internships and professional opportunities.
“I think one of the biggest gifts women can give themselves is upskilling themselves,” she said. “The really exciting and scary thing about tech is that the careers that are going to be hot five years ago, five years from now, don’t even exist yet today.”
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: THESE ENTREPRENEURS BELIEVE NO WOMAN IS EVER ‘PAST THEIR PRIME’
She added there should be plenty of tech opportunities, as almost “every company today” has to be doing digital marketing, is using artificial intelligence, or customer support tools with technology.
Zuckerberg said the onus is on companies whose majority of customers are women.
“You just simply can’t afford to have such a small number of women in your workforce and expect to be pleasing a huge customer base of women,” Zucker said. “It just doesn’t work that ways. So, this is not a nice-to-have, this is a business and revenue must-have.”