This is Chris Redgrave for Zions Bank Speaking on Business.
As technology advances and contributes to the economic engine of the United States, it's important our workforce is educated and ready to not only meet the challenge, but embrace it and be productive. In Utah, the technology industry represents over 14 percent of the state's total payroll with around 100,000 jobs that bring 7 billion dollars in business. It was this information that lead to the creation of the Women Tech Council, whose purpose is to provide an avenue for supporting women in technology.
One area of critical importance for the Women Tech Council is mentoring young people so they understand their potential for a future in the technology industry. Women are starting their own businesses at a rate of 1.5 times the national average, and increased numbers of women are enrolling and graduating with technology degrees, so it's vital these young entrepreneurs and leaders have role models.
With the influence of the Women Tech Council, more young women will be inspired to seek out a career in technology. Another core principle of this organization is to collaborate and support men, to build business and community partnerships and to connect with great partners who want to further their cause and mission.
The trends we're seeing today show a startling gender gap in technology where fewer women than men go into fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. What happens is women look at tech companies and math departments and see few women in attendance. This gives the impression women may not be good at math, creating an inaccurate stereotype people have a tough time overcoming, meaning it's harder for women to enter those fields, stay in them and flourish. Even if they do choose technology, engineering or math and are successful, they're more likely to quit than men.
The Women Tech Council believes that increasing and supporting women in technology, along with the talented men in the field, will provide Utah the competitive edge we need now and in the future as a power source and hot bed for technology.
For Zions Bank, I'm Chris Redgrave, speaking on business.
Women Tech Council 32 W. 200 South, #158 Salt Lake City, UT 84101 951-262-1458 www.womentechcouncil.org