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Gender diversity in computing is key says Kara at F5

Gender diversity in computing is key says Kara at F5

 March 06, 2018

Kara Sprague is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of F5 Networks’ market-leading product portfolio of Application Delivery Controllers. A computer scientist and electrical engineer by training, she holds two masters degrees from M.I.T., and worked on the engineering staff of Oracle, Agilent Technologies and H-P before joining McKinsey & Company in 2004. While at McKinsey, she held various leadership positions across their consulting business, ultimately leading the Technology, Media, and Telecom Practice for the Western Region when she left to join F5 in 2017.

More women needed in tech roles

In her field, Kara is frequently one of the few women – or the only woman – in the room. But despite the fact that technology jobs are among the fastest growing and best-paid in the U.S., the trend for Kara is getting worse. She’s seeing even fewer women in leadership roles than when she started. In 1995, 37% of computer scientists were women. In 2017, it was only 24%. If nothing is done, in ten years the number of women in computing will decrease to just 22%. [Source: Girls Who Code]

Inspiring STEM role models are key

“The gender gap in computing is getting worse – not better. Though there has been significant progress made in just the last 12 months to raise awareness and help address the systemic gender bias in the technology industry, we cannot afford to lose track of what happens well before a woman ever applies for a job in computing – the sheer lack of women interested and trained in the field. Today, fewer than 1 in 5 computer science graduates are women.

“By looking at the root causes and building the pipeline of future female computer scientists, we can press for progress for gender parity in computing. But it’s not in my nature to be satisfied by only an improvement in a downward trend. I support organizations like Girls Who Code (where I serve on the board), and the work of so many others in STEM education, because I want to see the gender gap in computing closed.”

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