The software engineering gender gap (what we can do and why it matters)

Software engineering is one of the premier occupations in the tech industry. Most creators of applications and websites that people use are software engineers. 

There is a significant gender difference in software engineering, as with other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. There is a significant gender gap in the computer sciences than in other STEM occupations. 

Read on to learn more about why bridging the gender gap matters and what we can do about it.

Why it matters

It is necessary to bridge the gender gap in software engineering for several reasons. One is that the more women enter into tech-related jobs, the more opportunities there will be for women to earn higher incomes to support their families.

Another reason is that it will create more diversity in the industry bringing new perspectives to software engineering, which are likely to be beneficial. 

Moreover, more roles women fill in engineering means more tech developments will happen simply because there are more people in the field. There is a lot more upside than downside to having more women in software engineering, which is an issue we need to consider seriously.

What we can do

There is much we can do to close the gender gap in software engineering, including the following.

Mindset shift

The most important thing to encourage more women to participate in software engineering is to reinforce a mindset shift in girls from a young age and women in general that software engineering is a field they can participate in and even thrive if they want it. 

A change of mindset is the first step to accomplishing great things, and it is necessary to instigate change in software engineering. Even though the fact is that software engineering is a complex and challenging field, women need to believe they can still succeed in it.

Start girls early

Once girls have the right mindset, we should start introducing and grooming them for STEM fields like software engineering as early as possible. School is the first place where most people are introduced to STEM fields. Girls are more likely to be encouraged to do humanities and business-related courses than STEM courses. 

To bridge the gender gap, girls can be offered tools like the Exponent’s guide to becoming a Software Engineer to know what it will take to become a software engineer. The earlier they are introduced to the field, the more likely they are to choose it in the future.

Great role models

Most of the work to bridge the gender gap in software engineering and other STEM fields fall on the women already in the field. They have to be role models to the young girls who are interested in software engineering and want to be software engineers in the future. 

The successful women in the industry will have to inspire their younger counterparts by being the shining example they can look to for encouragement. They should visit schools and inspire girls at home by showing them they can do it too.


Networks are the most crucial thing in business and industry, so for more women to be included in software engineering and related fields, there has to be more networking between women in the industry. 

They have to work together to present a united front before young women to inspire them to join the field. Their collaborative efforts are more likely to be successful than if they were to do it alone. 

The gender gap in software engineering is something that needs addressing. You know why it matters and what we can do about it. By networking, being great role models, starting early, and changing their mindset, we can inspire more women to become software engineers. The benefits of more women in software engineering will grow the industry.