Many individuals and organizations are working tirelessly on reframing the conversation of women representation in certain fields. Despite the initiatives to decrease the gender gap in several industries, such as technology, the status quo is changing slowly.
When you ask girls about what they want to be when they grow up, most of them will choose jobs and careers they were influenced to believe belonged to women — assistant, fashion designer, teacher, singer, etc. This isn't a surprise since most of what is marketed to kids at an early age build on biased gender expectations, and later on influence their career choices.
For the past few years, the lack of representation in the tech industry has been an ongoing conversation. Even with undeniable great efforts and initiatives, women representation in technology is increasing slowly. While women make up 47% of the employed adults in the US, in the tech workforce, only 28.8% of the employees are women.
Since women represent a minority in the tech industry, we need more success examples and role models, in order for girls and young women to see themselves become engineers and computer scientists.
A report published by the organization Girls Who Code showed that girls who are encouraged by a role model are more likely to major in computing. 62% of them mentioned that they were encouraged by someone, compared to 19% who were not encouraged to learn more about technology.
We need representation in all forms! The more we promote success stories of women in tech, the higher the chances to become a go-to career path for other women worldwide.
ARE JEI is a tech-inspired jewelry line that was founded by a woman in tech, Reem Jaghlit, who has more than 20 years of experience in computer engineering. The company was born when Reem fused her two passions —technology and jewelry, creating a new concept of tech-inspired jewelry that aims to inspire women and girls from all around the world to express their passion for tech.
It took Reem 4 years to turn this fused passion into a business model. She created a product that she wears proudly and is excited to sell because it’s mission-driven. The name of the company stands for her initials–R (ARE) and J (JEI)–and it encompasses the vision, passion, and energy that she lives by.
Being an advocate for women in tech and finding inspiration from other great organizations that support the same cause, Reem believes that we can all contribute, in our own unique ways, to successfully overcome the gender gap in technology.
“For most of my career, I was one of very few women in the room. When I started my path in leadership positions, It became lonelier and I often felt like I didn’t belong. Throughout my career, I had to work harder than my male counterparts just to prove myself. This is why I am determined to advocate for women in tech and celebrate the wonderful role models in the industry. Jewelry is one way to do that.” adds Reem.
ARE JEI was created to enable an entry point for women to learn about technology. Everyone who has bought a binary encoded bracelet can talk about binary code, even in broad terms. The goal is to drive women’s curiosity around technology through jewelry.
Instead of telling someone: “Let me teach you about binary code,” they learn about binary code when they shop and customize their binary encoded bracelet!” Reem continued.
Wearing tech-inspired jewelry is one way to celebrate women in technology — women who are overcoming gender adversity in a male-dominated field. ARE JEI jewelry is meant to make them feel proud and empowered for being a part of the tech industry.
“Jewelry is more than just a fashion accessory. It can tell stories about who you are and what means the most to you. This sentiment has led me to design jewelry that celebrates our minds and our brainpower, especially in STEM fields such as technology and engineering.“ says Reem.
The story of Reem Jaghlit and her initiative with ARE JEI is not an individual one. There are more hidden heroes, as she calls them, that are part of the change. More and more of them empower women every day to take part in organizations that support them as engineers and teach little girls that they can also become computer engineers and help shape the future of technology.
“There are so many misconceptions surrounding being in tech. I don't know how we got here, but we need to change that. Representation is needed to make technology something that women and girls can see themselves doing in the future.” says Reem.
Check out ARE JEI binary encoded jewelry and become part of the change today.