Valeo Group | 13 Apr, 2021 | 5 min

Kudos to our Female Software Engineers who #ChooseToChallenge and Stay the Course!

Raising hands to combat gender bias & inequality, with a pink sport handbag on the shoulder, women of Valeo Egypt celebrated 2021’s International Women’s day with a bang! 

Vaulting rapidly to power, acting as powerful agents of change, juggling between work and family gracefully, what more can we say about women? In households, professional set ups, or even as heads of countries, women have proven their capabilities and outstanding achievements – from Coco Chanel, Marie Curie to Angela Merkel, the list of inspiring women is endless.

Women in Male-Dominated Industries – a global struggle

The world is changing, and with it women are gracefully forging the future. Throughout the course of history, women have challenged the status quo to seek change and receive acceptance to occupy male-dominated industries, such as engineering, computing and manufacturing. According to a research study published by Catalyst* in the USA, women represented no more than 18.7% of the male-dominated software development industry in 2019. Similarly, the ratio of women in other technical industries is not very far from this. The chart below shows the ratio of employed women in similar tech related industries.

Field

Total Employed

Percent Women (2019)

Computer Programmers

20.3%

Mechanical Engineers

6.6%

Software Developers, Applications and Systems Software

18.7%

Women in male predominant industries 

The Middle East is not much different. Women have been struggling to penetrate these fields, especially with the constant gender barriers and societal misconceptions about such roles. Making the decision to pursue software engineering as a career is a challenge in itself, vis a vis with the social image reflected upon women as “weak, fragile, or not powerful enough to handle the stresses of a male-dominated career choice”. Women have been fighting stereotypes for so long, which is why numbers have been slowly, but steadily increasing in male/female employment ratios across many STEM fields. 

Valeo Women exceeding global ratios

Let’s take a moment to compare Valeo Egypt’s male/female employment numbers. The quota of women software developers in Valeo Egypt has reached 30% in 2021, which is considerably high in comparison to global statistics in the software industry. In fact, Valeo Egypt has one of the highest female employment ratios in comparison to other sites of Valeo across the globe! This in itself is an achievement that we all need to acknowledge and celebrate. Though a tough task it is to stand against the current, our Valeo Egypt leading women sail against the wind every day in order to break the barriers of our challenging industry. Thanks to all our women who have been contributing to the organization’s success in delivering state of the art software to the automotive industry and manufacturers around the globe, as equally as their men peers. It is no longer a question of societal barriers that need to be overcome, but a matter of empowerment and encouragement to be resilient in the face of the industry challenges.

Valeo Egypt Women #ChooseToChallenge

International’s Women’s Day was just the right event to celebrate this milestone. This year, we chose to challenge the status quo by raising our hands to call out gender bias and inequality, to seek and celebrate women’s achievements. Despite all the barriers, whether societal, cultural, or gender based, our women will continue to excel in such challenging roles. The road was and is still open for both men and women to grow, but it is often a labyrinth for women who typically face more challenges. From our numbers, the labyrinth is unfolding, and room for more women stars is looming on the horizon.

Happy International Women’s Day to all our strong, resilient women! Let’s all seek to celebrate our achievements in hopes of building a more inclusive world for us all. Kudos to our Valeo Egypt ladies, who choose to challenge themselves and the current work environment and choose to stay the course in our predominantly male software development industry!

* U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Table 11: Employed Persons by Detailed Occupation, Sex, Race, and Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, 2019,” Current Population Survey, Household Data Annual Averages 2019 (2020); U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Table 1: Employed and Experienced Unemployed Persons by Detailed Occupation, Sex, Race, and Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, Annual Average 2019,” Current Population Survey (unpublished data) (2020)

Written By Mayar Naguib
Country Communications Manager
Senior Department Head, Valeo Egypt

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