Why we need more women in retail tech

The technology world’s gender gap problem has been widely commented on, but how to fix the problem is a more difficult question. The implications of a lack of female engineers are significant for the retail industry. As consumers’ tech behaviors continue to shape the industry, retail companies themselves are starting to look more and more like technology companies. If women, who do most of the shopping, are not represented in creating the latest tech for retailers, what does that mean for the customer experience?

Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, will keynote Retail’s Digital Summit from Shop.org, to be held Sept. 26-28 in Dallas.

Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, will keynote Retail’s Digital Summit from Shop.org, to be held Sept. 26-28 in Dallas.

One person working to tackle the gender parity gap in tech head on is Reshma Saujani, who founded Girls Who Code to encourage more girls to pursue technology in school and as a career. Through school programs and corporate partnerships, Girls Who Code is helping to fill the technology workforce pipeline with more female engineers.

We were so inspired by Saujani’s mission that we invited her to keynote at the upcoming Retail’s Digital Summit, to be held Sept. 26–28 in Dallas. When we asked her why it’s so important to have more women in tech positions within the retail industry, Saujani answered:

“Technology is completely changing how people buy products, how they interact with brands and what they’re buying. To meet consumer demands, retailers are investing in tech jobs more than ever before. And yet, not only are companies having a hard time finding skilled workers to fill those positions, they’re having an even harder time finding women (women are on track to fill only 3 percent of the projected 1.4 million jobs opening in computer science by 2020). In an industry where women control the majority of consumer spending, it’s an enormous missed opportunity to not have those voices at the table.”

“In an industry where women control the majority of consumer spending, it’s an enormous missed opportunity to not have those voices at the table.”

Reshma Saujani
Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code

We couldn’t agree more, and many retailers are taking an active role in changing the tide. In our full interview with Saujani, posted on Medium.com, she continued:

“Retailers are investing a lot more in their tech teams than ever before. In fact, Kate Spade and Company and Sephora are hosting Girls Who Code programs this year. They know that when you have the people who are buying the products building the products, you’ll only produce better products.”

Read the full interview with Saujani on Medium.com, and see her in person at Retail’s Digital Summit, Sept. 26–28 in Dallas.

Image at top courtesy of #WOCinTechChat