Women will control more than two-thirds of consumer wealth in the US over the next ten years and are more likely than men to buy tablets, laptops or smartphones. Mary Cass explores how women are poised to reshape our relationship with technology.
Last summer, a Ghostbusters reboot hit the big screen, featuring Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy playing earnest, ghost-hunting scientists and engineers. Three of Hollywood's leading ladies of comedy, all playing women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields?
It's a pretty big deal, considering that women make up 48% of the US workforce, but just 24% of employees in STEM jobs, according to the US Department of Commerce. In the UK, the figure falls to just 17%, while UNESCO reports that just 28% of scientific researchers worldwide are female.
Why do tech and science fields struggle so much with retaining female talent? Numerous explanations have been proposed - from workplace 'brogrammer' culture to discrimination in schools and at the top of the food chain. But whatever lies at the heart of the issue, it's one that tech companies had better fix fast if they wish to retain the loyalty of the growing cohort of tech-savvy women worldwide.