Encouraging Women to Pursue Careers in Technology

By Regina Kunkle, Vice President, Americas Channel, NetApp


It was 1914 when International Women’s Day was first celebrated on its officially proclaimed date of March 8, and in a handful of countries women publicly demonstrated their desire for equality, peace and justice. In 2014, over 1100 events took place around the globe. While it's unfortunate in one sense that we still must set aside one day a year to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women (true equality will come when this is no longer required), it does give us an opportunity to consciously evaluate and appreciate how far we've come in the past century.


Today, young women are more empowered than ever to aspire to leadership roles across private industry and public service. At NetApp we have a proud history of encouraging women to enter our ranks. At the “C” level we have a number of women at the table. In fact there are many talented women in our organization who are making a difference across our company and the communities we live in.


While research reveals that the number of women joining and remaining in the ranks of high technology is still far too small, I am encouraged by the many diverse WIT (Women in Technology) associations that are springing up for the purpose of encouraging, mentoring and promoting opportunities for women in our industry. And they're paying off. According to the National Center for Women in Information Technology, IT is one of our fastest growing sectors. There will be jobs for women, and lots of them.


Our mission is clear: we must continue to encourage young women to consider careers in high technology. And like the strong, brave women who went before, they will open up opportunities for themselves to chart a diverse and rewarding course by becoming entrepreneurs, visionaries, innovators and leaders.


Ladies, with summer right around the corner, we can help our youth by volunteering to mentor, teach, or create classes that are provided via summer camps at our recreation centers, schools, etc. 

I am a college student studying engineering and I feel very passionate about women in STEM. I get very excited when I meet a fellow lady in my same or a related major. I have a vision that one day it will be as if women were never a minority, not only in STEM but in everything. It'll just be history.

I'd like to get involved and inspire girls to go into STEM careers but I'm not sure how to go about doing so. I try with the females who are close to me but they don't seem to take me too seriously. Does anybody have any ideas on how to get involved in this movement?