That wisdom is sorely needed when you consider gender gap in computing jobs has gotten worse in the last 30 years, even as computer science job opportunities expand rapidly, according to new research from Accenture and Girls Who Code. In 1984, 37 percent of computer science majors in the United States were women, but that number dropped to 18 percent in 2014, according to the study. The computing industry’s rate of U.S. job creation is three times the national average, but if trends continue, the study estimates that women will hold only 20 percent of computing jobs by 2025.
In Latin America the situation is worse, experts say. While 44 percent of all science positions — including social sciences — in the region are held by women, they are underrepresented in science, technology and engineering, according to UNESCO.
Trevino has witnessed the trend since her humble beginnings. Back in the mid-’80s it was very uncommon for women in Mexico to go to college and work in the IT field. But the tide is shifting. Now the graduating class of information technology majors at ITESM are 35 percent to 40 percent women, she says, adding, “One thing that’s changed is that there are female role models — such as Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook — who have been able to make it. This gives women confidence they too can succeed.”
Today women make up about 14 percent of executive-level jobs in the technology industry, according to the Anita Borg Institute. The organization says women are frequently pushed into softer technical roles that rarely lead to senior and executive positions.
The best advice Trevino can give to aspiring women looking to launch a technology start-up?
1. Start by developing a big idea and commit to it.
2. Don’t spend timing thinking about obstacles; instead, focus on your strengths.
3. Find great partners. It is easier to start a business if you share your dream with someone else. As a woman who often has to juggle work and family, having a support system can help you boost the odds of your success.