Connecting women in tech will help combat stereotypes and further gender equality in a male-dominated field.
That pesky pay gap, that one where women make a mere 78 cents to every dollar a man makes, gets just a tiny bit smaller when it comes to careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, often referred to as STEM. But there’s still one rather large problem: Men dominate the tech industry.
Women make up less than 40 percent of the employees at big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Yahoo, according to the International Business Times. Not to mention that Silicon Valley’s top five firms don’t have a single female senior partner, Newsweek reports.
But two female entrepreneurs are looking to change that. To help combat sexual discrimination in the field, Eileen Carey and Lauren Mosenthal came up with a new platform, Glassbreakers.
“Our mission is to empower women to break the glass ceiling, together,” reads the site’s manifesto.
And that’s by using what they call “peer-to-peer mentorship,” instead of a traditional hierarchical structure. “The problem for women in the workforce is that there are many more mentees than mentors. Also, the tech industry is changing so fast that women even five or 10 years older may have very little of practical use to share with younger workers,” Carey told Newsweek.
Instead, the program sees every woman as a potential mentor. It uses a LinkedIn profile plus an algorithm to connect women to others with similar skillsets and career goals. A little like a dating service, users are invited to meet up offline after an agreed upon a match.
Since the programs’ launch last month, 1,500 women have already signed up. Right now, Glassbreakers is only offered to women in the tech industry but with plans to advance to other fields in the future.
Top photo courtesy of Glassbreaker’s Facebook page