A New Pathway To Tech Gender Diversity At Eleven Fifty Academy

A New Pathway To Tech Gender Diversity At Eleven Fifty Academy

August 17, 2021

From Ada Lovelace to Annie Easley, women have been tech innovators and intellectual leaders since before the field was even conceptualized as a “career.” Their contributions have led the way and without them, technology would not exist. And yet, in 2021, women are severely underrepresented in the tech field. Let’s look at the stats and how Eleven Fifty Academy has responded to this crisis. 

Women in the Workforce

Although women represented 47.0% of the workforce in 2019, the sad reality is that only 26% of tech jobs are currently held by women. In fact, take a look at this chart from Statista.com

These numbers were compiled using company reports, and you can see that women are severely underrepresented in both leadership and tech positions in the workforce. This issue echoes the trend that started in the 1970’s as women were phased out of the tech industry in favor of men. 

Examining Gender Disparity in Traditional Tech Education

According to the Pew Research Center, women’s representation in STEM has not changed significantly since 2016, when women earned only 18% of all computer science degrees. Contrast this with two years later, in 2018, when that percentage rose to…19%. 

This gap in education is concerning, and there aren’t a lot of answers. There is evidence that this gap appears between high school and college, and some point to the “bro culture” of tech. Computer science is often seen as a field for men, and this stereotype continues to keep women out of this field and discourages them from pursuing tech degrees. 

A New Pathway To Tech at Eleven Fifty Academy

For Leilah Smith, being a musician felt inevitable. She began playing cello at a young age, and fell into a career as a classical musician, ignoring the financial implications and going into debt for lessons and a college degree in music. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate the arts community, Smith recently made the decision to commit to a software development bootcamp through the Eleven Fifty Academy. “I’m ‘hungry’ for a more stable life,” says Smith, “and it’s not romantic to be a musician in normal life, let alone a pandemic.” Smith reflects on why she became a musician, stating that “music was what I knew how to do, and I never even knew that other fields were an option for me. I didn’t consider a tech career because it was marketed as an option for men.” 

After many years as a professional musician, Leilah is now embarking on a new career path. “The more I learn in this bootcamp, the more interesting it is,” says Smith. “I’ve realized that a career in the tech industry is not only possible for me, but also is within my reach.” Smith currently teaches online lessons in music while completing an EFA bootcamp in her spare time. “There are many different levels and as a complete beginner, I was slightly apprehensive when I started. And now I’ve already built many computer programs!” Smith also pointed out that the flexible schedule, and plenty of homework support available through Eleven Fifty Academy, has allowed her to continue to work while transitioning into this new career.

With the percentage of women in tech in the workforce and traditional college degrees being so low, it is clear that women have largely been left behind when it comes to traditional tech opportunities. Eleven Fifty Academy is dedicated to creating pathways for women like Smith to be able to transition into careers in the tech industry. According to EFA’s forthcoming 2020 job placement report, 33% of the graduates who were placed at new jobs by the Academy were women, and 100% of graduates who wanted career service support were placed within 12 months. 

“This is just the beginning, however,” states Scott Jones, founder of Eleven Fifty Academy. “Our mission statement says that ‘our strength is in the diversity of our students,’ and that isn’t just a buzzword for us. We are dedicated to increasing the number of women and minorities in the tech industry. The workforce statistics tell the true story and show that our work isn’t done, it’s just starting.” 

The Academy’s enrollment figures support the claim that creating opportunities for women in technology is a priority. In 2020, females represented nearly 49% of enrolled students, up from 2019’s 34%. 

Tech Bootcamps Help Women Transition Into Tech Jobs

Whether you are stuck in a dead-end career or determined to avoid that outcome, Eleven Fifty is here to help. Our bootcamp in web development, cybersecurity, or UI/UX Design can prepare you for a new career in just a few months. We are here to support you and help you pursue that dream, so contact us today or sign up for a free intro class to take the first step.

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