March 8 is the International Womans Day, and therefore an extra suitable day to highlight a major problem in the Swedish IT sector – the lack of women. This is the topic of my op-ed article in Dagens Nyheter today.
We like to think that Sweden is a relatively equal society, but that is really not the case in the IT sector where only 23 percent are women. In Finland, it is 44 percent women.
Some people say that the numbers are driven by larger male interest in technology, and some even think there are biological explanations. But numbers from other parts of the world, where women show a lot more interest in technology, prove this wrong.
I think that we fail because our society defines IT as something “male”. In Asia and Turkey they do not, and they have 50 percent women in their IT programs. Our society, and especially the IT business, has to claim responsibility to change this.
I think that it is important also that we at KTH do whatever we can to help change this. Lets all make use of this day to derive ideas on how we could improve gender equality at KTH and elsewhere.