In October 2013, The New York Times released an article outlining the disproportionate number of women to men in the computer science and technology industry. The article states that only about one-fourth of all employees in the computing field are women. Further statistics suggest that, of all female college freshmen, less than 1% report a plan to pursue degrees in computer science.But with technology advancing at such a rapid rate, are women selling themselves short? Square CFO Sara Friar believes they are. In a recent interview, Friar was asked about her appointment to the board of directors at New Relic, which led the conversation down the path of gender diversity in the technology industry. Friar made it clear that just because a disparity currently exists between the number of men and women in technical industries and the corporate sphere; it doesn’t mean things should or will remain that way.
Friar Supports Women Leaders
As revealed in the interview, Sarah Friar isn’t simply interested in watching her own career blossom – she wants to inspire other women to pursue careers in technology. According to Friar, there are three important steps that need to occur in order to encourage more women to enter the fields of science, technology, and engineering.
- Remove Obstacles – When asked about the perception of obstacles facing women, Friar stated, “Clearly there is nothing preventing women from being great leaders.” According to Friar, a change of perception needs to occur.
- Start Early – Friar believes children should be encouraged to explore math and science at a young age. As a mother of two, Friar has witnessed young girls verbalize a lack of confidence in math and science. “That’s a terrible outcome at 9 years old,” Friar recalled.
- Receive Help – As the founder of High School Code Camp, Friar is taking steps to change the future for women in technology. By providing high school students with hands-on exposure to coding, Friar hopes to inspire more young women to enter male dominated professions.
Female CFOs Changing the Game
Like many CFOs today, Sarah Friar’s success has come with years of experience and a willingness to push the envelope. Her combined expertise in engineering, finance, and corporate operations has led her to become an authority in the technology industry. Friar is setting a good example for women around the world as her presence in the technology industry is helping change the landscape of executive leadership.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for female CFOs?