Women are officially more important than men when it comes to influencing the tech industry.
According to an article in The Atlantic, researcher Genevieve Bell found that while males between the ages of 18 and 35 used to be the tech industry's coveted market, women now lead in tech adoption. Whether a product fails or succeeds no longer depends on if men embrace it.
"It turns out women are our new lead adopters. When you look at internet usage, it turns out women in Western countries use the internet 17 per cent more every month than their male counterparts. Women are more likely to be using the mobile phones they own, they spend more time talking on them, they spend more time using location-based services. But they also spend more time sending text messages. Women are the fastest growing and largest users on Skype, and that's mostly younger women. Women are the fastest category and biggest users on every social networking site with the exception of LinkedIn. Women are the vast majority owners of all internet enabled devices — readers, healthcare devices, GPS — that whole bundle of technology is mostly owned by women."
And more than ever, women want to learn about the technology they're using.
If Bell's findings seem unexpected, it's because women's roles in technology have been downplayed until now, and they're still underrepresented at venture capital firms and technology companies.
Interestingly enough, another recent American study found that female-run tech startups are more likely to become established companies and are growing five times faster than all other new startups.
According to Canadian Women in Technology (CanWIT), women represent 47 per cent of the workforce, but only 30 per cent of the technology-sector workforce in Canada. The national volunteer organization is dedicated to encouraging creative, innovative Canadian women to consider careers in technology.
And it's not just young women driving tech trends:
"So it turns out if you want to find out what the future looks like, you should be asking women. And just before you think that means you should be asking 18-year-old women, it actually turns out the majority of technology users are women in their 40s, 50s and 60s. So if you wanted to know what the future looks like, those turn out to be the heaviest users of the most successful and most popular technologies on the planet as we speak," Bell concludes her talk.
Ladies, what tech trends have you fully embraced?