The last few weeks have seen the topic of women’s involvement in the world of technology questioned more than ever before. With reports highlighting the lack of women in high positions in Silicon Valley, amongst other leading technology companies across the globe, it leads us to question whether the issue is a result of sexual discrimination, or whether women just aren’t interested in technology.
Take a look at the Mobilephones.com office, for example. As a content writer for the company, my days are spent reading about tech, writing about tech, and too often than not, dreaming about tech, too.
Whenever I see an advert, whether it’s on the TV, radio or in a magazine, I can’t help but conjure up the key specs- screen size, camera specs and processor - of whichever handset is being promoted. But take me back a couple of years ago when I was still clutching onto my BlackBerry Curve, thinking I was at the height of fashion (without offending any BlackBerry users out there), I might never have given such an advert a second thought.
So is it that women are generally not interested in technology, or is it that they’re just not exposed to it as often as men?
Today Belinda Parmar wrote in The Guardian about the lack of technology in women’s glossy magazines in the UK. As the CEO of Lady Geek, an agency based on inspiring women to change the world through technology, Parmar has discovered that women, if the top magazines are to be believed, only care about men, clothes, make-up, and…oh, men.
In fact, she found that in the last two months, only 2% of the pages of major selling women’s magazines referred to technology.
And while this might lead to the logical conclusion that women aren’t bothered about technology, Parmar has pointed out that British women, on average, actually spend more money each year on their smartphone than men. It’s also a proven fact that tablet ownership in the UK is dominated by women rather than men.
So why don’t our magazines reflect this?
We’re not necessarily expecting every woman on Britain’s streets to suddenly express a burning desire to play with remote control helicopters or Scaletrix- though, of course, there are many women who do- we’re simply asking the question why is technology still seen as a man’s game?
Unless the gadget in question is a domestic appliance, strictly limited to the kitchen- or bedroom- then it is largely targeted at a specifically male audience.
So while we will see a number of gadget stores popping up on our high streets this Christmas, clad all in bachelor-pad black leather and chrome, us women will, presumably, be tottering off to the nearest John Lewis or Debenhams to browse the range of women-appropriate gadgets.
So, at risk of sounding like a typical feminist on the warpath, for those of you who love nothing more than to play around on the latest phones, toys and gadgets, stand up and be proud; we might well enjoy reading about men, clothes and make-up (did I mention men?), but we are also very much interested in all things tech, too.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel