Women in tech jobs have become an endangered species.

While the number of computer-related jobs in the United States has increased by 338 percent—338 percent!—since 1990, the number of women in tech jobs declined by seven percent during that same period.

Women have made gains in certain science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, like physical science, but only one in four people in computer and math-related occupations is female. This is a vast underrepresentation in a population where women make up 47 percent of the workforce.

An entire industry is missing the perspective and talent of half of the people it serves.

As a school leader you are in a perfect position to close the gender gap in our economy’s fastest-growing sector.

A recent study commissioned by Microsoft showed that when girls are introduced to disciplines like computer coding in elementary school, they’re more likely to retain an interest in STEM-related jobs through high school, pursue STEM-related degrees, and choose STEM-related careers. (Read more on the importance of computer science in your curriculum.)

Aside from urging schools to offer classes in computer coding starting in elementary grades, the study emphasizes how critical it is for girls to have positive female role models in technology positions. “Girls who know a woman in a STEM profession are substantially more likely to feel empowered when they engage in STEM activities (sixty-one percent) than those who don’t know a woman in a STEM profession (forty-four percent),” the study says.

Vartek is proud of its team of female role models. Women fill key positions in all areas of our company, from president to workstation technician, from controller to network administrator. Some of these women have known since they were young that technology would be their career. Others discovered it after exploring other avenues. All of them, along with the men on our team, are thrilled to have a chance to influence the next generation of female technology leaders.

“Vartek is a group of smart, ambitious women and men who are committed to serving students, teachers, and administrators in their use of technology,” says President Darlene Waite, who has been a top executive at Vartek since 2011. “Knowing that what our company does every day impacts students’ learning and teachers’ ability to use their technology to increase engagement makes each day a fulfilling experience.”

Click below as we introduce some of our Vartek women.

Amber Smith, IT Support Specialist

Jodie Groves, Academic Technology Coordinator and IT Team Leader

Jamila Nelson, Database Specialist

Kavya Nooguri, Network Administrator

Rachelle Crawford, Technology Coordinator and IT Team Leader

Brandelyn House, Classroom Technology Coach

Heather Osborne, Director – Administrative Operations