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Consumer to Creator: Empower Women in Tech for a More Equitable Future

By Sofia Casini, RTC Marketing Intern

The tech industry is failing women, not just those working within the tech industry, but tech consumers. 

We need to empower women in tech if we want to create a more equitable future.

Most developers don’t design technology– even the apps used primarily by women– with women’s specific needs in mind. This isn’t a unique trait of the tech industry; we see this in everything from medicine to fashion. If developers considered the consumers’ diverse needs in the design process, whether it be an app or a bra, it would better serve female users. It should appeal to the investors of these products because of profitability. It should also appeal to innovators trying to create a better world. So why don’t they consider women? Women aren’t a part of the decision-making.

According to Zippia, 82% of app developers identify as male, and they make 8% more than female-identifying app developers.

At the same time, for many apps, women represent over half of the consumer base. This is especially pervasive with health apps. Women make up nearly 60% of health app users. Yet it took years for popular health apps to consider the needs of the women using them. For example, Apple released its Health app in 2014 when only 25% of the software developers were female-identifying. It took significant amounts of backlash and a year for Apple to include basic menstruation and cycle tracking. Similarly, it took years for companies like Uber and Lyft to include safety features for women in their apps. It took Uber 8 years and thousands of reports of assault to include ride-sharing as a feature of their app.

With more women developers participating in designing and implementing these apps, they would cater better to their female users.

We need more women in tech. We also need the support of the companies hiring and organizations sponsoring innovation, particularly independent female entrepreneurs.

Events that foster female entrepreneurship are key.

Recently, RTC held its Black Wings Hacks Hackathon.

Many of the projects pitched by the young women centered around using tech as a tool for social good.

There was a trend: apps that centered on women’s safety.

As well as projects that focused on equity:

When looking at the inspiration for these projects, we see a theme. As women in tech, we have a unique and essential perspective that aids our ability to innovate.

We’ve observed a consistent pattern in the communities we’ve lived in and those we hail from that despite the widespread integration of STEM, young female & nonbinary students of color continue to be underrepresented. This observation extends to school districts and communities, highlighting a persistent absence of women in tech academically, particularly in middle and high schools where limited classes are offered. The challenges are multifaceted, ranging from societal discrimination to financial constraints and the stereotypes that women aren’t generally interested in entering tech. This education gap hampers their academic growth and limits future career opportunities. This inspired us to think about Pegasus Connect, a free online learning platform that connects students to volunteer tutors and resources, creating an immersive, tailored STEM learning experience. Pegasus Connect is that safe & inclusive space for underrepresented young females and nonbinary students to learn about STEM, breaking down barriers and making learning accessible.

Be a part of the solution and create an equitable future in tech.

RTC has partnered with numerous organizations to bring equity to the forefront of tech innovation.

If you’re a company that values the innovation diversity builds, consider supporting us in our mission. And if you’re a woman looking for a community to support your entrepreneurship, we are here to help.

To create an equitable future and world, we need to empower more women in tech to lead projects! Join us today to find out how you can be a part of this mission.

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