Taipei, Microsoft Taiwan said Wednesday that it will give priority to female applicants in its latest recruitment drive, as part of an effort to close the huge gender gap in the domestic tech industry.
Vincent Shih (???), general manager of Microsoft Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs (CELA) in Taiwan, said that gender equality has long been an issue in the tech sector, which has been attracting an increasing number of female engineers and other professionals.
Nonetheless, the gender gap in the industry remains wide due mainly to the stereotypical view that such work is more suitable for men, Shih said at a Girls in Tech Forum at the Ada Fair in Taipei.
There is also a dearth of women in upper management positions in the tech industry, he said, adding that a recent survey showed only 25 percent of Asian females 12-19 could name a famous woman in the tech sector.
In a bid to tackle the gender gap, Microsoft Taiwan will be giving priority to female candidates in its upcoming recruitment drive to fill nearly 300 vacancies in the technical field, including 30 openings at its AI development center, Shih said.
Striking a similar tone, Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Chen Liang-gee (???) said at the forum that the government fully supports the idea of more women in the tech industry and that his ministry is putting forward several programs to help develop female tech talent.
The gender gap in that field extends beyond the private sector to research positions at universities, Chen said, citing data that indicated a ratio of 67:33 in favor of men among tech-related researchers at tertiary institutions.
Among applicants for MOST research grants, the gap is even wider, at a ratio of 76:24 in favor of men, he said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel