When women lead, the entire world changes. For decades, women around the world have worked to break the invisible ceiling to advancement and achieve professional growth in every industry. Gender impacts how people are paid, educated, and provided access to healthcare. As a result, women face enormous challenges when trying to get on equal footing. Those who have fought to reach the top of their fields show us that historical oppression does not define future opportunity.
Career possibilities that were once considered unrealistic for women are now glimmering dreams in the eyes of young girls everywhere. This is just as true in STEM as it is in any other traditionally male-dominated industry. But Baseet.ai is proud to be on the right side of history when it comes to ending gender gaps in technology and leadership; here’s why.
What is the Gender Gap?
The world economy has made enormous strides in ensuring better opportunities and protections for women in the workplace than what has existed historically. Still, gender disparity continues to be a major issue in nearly every job market. In the United States, women have to work more just to make the same amount of money as their male counterparts. Even in 2020, women make an average of only 81 cents for every dollar that a man makes. Women around the world also bear the burden of responsibility for most of the unpaid labor that keeps the economy going. This includes housework, childcare, and ender care. Pay disparity – and the experience of gender discrimination overall – is even worse for black, Latina, and Native American women.
Equal pay is only one of the many hurdles women face in the workplace. Many women experience overt or implicit gender discrimination in hiring, promotion, and treatment in the workplace. Despite the fact that overt gender discrimination is outlawed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, gender is a relevant factor in many regarding important decisions in society and the economy. At work, this translates to discriminatory decisions regarding hiring, pay, and promotions. And this isn’t just a problem for women – it’s an issue that affects everyone.
Gender Disparity Impacts Everyone
The United Nations has listed achieving gender equity as one of its primary goals for sustainable development worldwide. And just as government leaders shape the opportunities and protections available to the public, the people at the top of an industry make decisions that impact the whole field. Those in leadership decide who their work serves, what it creates, and which possibilities it opens for the future. As women achieve higher positions of influence and leadership, decision making is becoming more equitable across the board.
And when women advance in leadership, the whole economic landscape changes. Individual workplaces and entire industries thrive when gender gaps narrow. The technology industry could greatly benefit by improving opportunities for women in the workplace – particularly as gender discrimination has damaged the reputation and workplace quality for companies in the tech space since the early days of computing. Fortunately, we are making strides towards narrowing the gender gap by ensuring equitable gender diversity within our company’s leadership.
Gender Disparity in Tech
Gender discrimination strangles opportunities for women to advance their careers and shape the field. Even while women have been underrecognized and discriminated against for decades, they have also been incredibly important in bringing the tech industry to the forefront of our modern lives.
In the early days of computer science, female innovators were responsible for enormous tech advances. Women helped humankind get to space worked to build the foundations for the modern internet. Although in the time since, women have been discouraged from computer careers for decades. This phenomenon has been linked in part to the stories we tell through advertising, particularly ads that marketed household computers to young boys throughout the 1980s. But there is a new narrative emerging in the world of tech — not only do women have a place in this industry moving forward, but they are raising the bar for what the entire tech industry can accomplish.
Female Leaders Emerging in the Tech Space
At Baseet, women leaders are changing the standards for innovation and helping us build better products. As they do, they are also helping to shift the cultural standards for what young women and girls can expect in terms of workplace culture, pay, creativity, and growth opportunities for the future.
“Gender discrimination appears in many aspects of life,” Baseet.ai Data Scientist Aisha Al-Sadi explains. “For me, there were several obstacles I encountered during my journey in searching for a job,” Al-Sadi shared, but she persevered through her commitment to excellence and dedication to her field. “I worked in the field of scientific research in the same university where I studied, knowing that many avoid working in this field due to its difficulty, but for me the challenge behind it was interesting. Hence, I decided to complete a master’s degree to specialize in the artificial intelligence field, besides taking online courses to develop my skills.”
Despite the challenges inherent to working in such a fast-paced and demanding career, Al-Sadi has thrived. “One of the challenges in this field is the acceleration and pace of development, which requires follow-up and a great effort to remain up to date,” she explains, “this is one of the reasons why many prefer males to females, they believe that males are better in terms of mental and physical focus and commitment to time where patience and effort are required. But I have enough faith in my abilities, and for this reason, I work with Baseet.” Today, Al-Sadi is applying her skills as one of Baseet’s top Data Scientists. “I am happy with what I do,” she says, “Baseet offers a great environment.” Fellow Baseet Data Scientist Hana Al-Theibat agrees and shares many of the same thoughts and experiences as her colleague Al-Sadi.
“Someone once said that ‘Little girls with dreams become women with vision,’ and from this quote, my story began,” Al-Theibat beamed. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering near the top of her class, Al-Theibat decided to pursue her career while earning her master’s. She was among the first women to work in robotics and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle systems in Jordan and worked as a developer in a computer center at a Jordanian university.
As Al-Theibat explained, she took this job “partially because many families view jobs in universities as best for women.” But this wasn’t enough for Al-Theibat, who was committed to building her career. “I started to self-study, enrolled in online courses, and worked on small projects in the areas of machine learning and data science. Soon enough, I was contacted by a Finnish startup and started working remotely with them on machine learning and robotics projects. It was really a great chance to work with people from different countries, which in turn, enriched my experience and skills.” This led Al-Theibat to Baseet, where she is working with Al-Sadi and others to redefine the field of artificial intelligence.
“I am now working with Baseet not as a member but as part of a team. We are working to reshape AI and Data Science by building the future of plug-and-play AI apps.” Al-Theibat explains. Like Al-Sadi, Al-Theibat is thrilled to be a leader in this space not due to the power of her position, but due to the contributions she is making to the tech space. “The exciting part is that I am engaged with the whole team, building apps from A to Z. We work together on every detail to improve the system.”
Narrowing the Gender Gap in Tech and Beyond
Because they have already broken ground by breaking gender conventions, women in leadership tend to be innovators. These women are paving the way for a more equitable and effective future in the tech world and beyond. As such, their achievements stand to benefit everyone and help shape their businesses towards market leadership.
Thanks to the leadership of women who have demanded more, the computer science profession now has one of the thinnest gender pay gaps among commercial industries. Still, there are far fewer women entering the tech industry than men, with women making up only about 18% of recent computer science graduates. Women like Aisha Al-Sadi and Hana Al-Theibat who break through to the top of their field are clearing the way for continued female leadership into the future. And when it comes to advice for the next generation of tech leaders, Al-Sadi and Al-Theiabat have some sage advice.
“Whether you are a woman or a man, follow your passion, prove your abilities, and ignore the frustrations of others. Do what you want, not what others want,” insists Aisha Al-Sadi, with just the slightest detection of a rebellious spirit. “Try, you will not lose anything, every failure is an experience. Don’t give up!” Al-Theiabat echoed this sentiment: “I had a dream to enter the data science field, which was rare at that time. But as Babe Ruth said: ‘It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up!’”
In addition to my own role in digital marketing and communications, the Baseet team is proud to have women like Hana Al-Theibat and Aisha Al-Sadi in leadership at our company. They are enabling us to build a better product and workplace environment every day. As they do, they are helping Baseet lead the industry toward new innovations while also making the world a more equitable place for us all.