Analysis

By s1jobs

 

Many believe the technology sector has become a more welcoming place for women during the past decade, but the industry’s well-documented gender biases continue to persist with too many female workers taking an early exit and too few making it to the upper ranks of management.

Despite concerted efforts to boost diversity and inclusion, women still make up less than a quarter of the UK’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workforce. A number of complex factors come into play that affect the number of women who choose a career in these fields, with those who do still experiencing patterns of behaviour that make them feel less valued than their male counterparts.

Research published in the latter part of last year by consultancy NTT DATA UK found that nearly three-quarters of female tech workers have had a negative experience at work because of their gender: 59 per cent said they had been spoken down to because they are a woman; 49% experienced biased behaviour; and 34% encountered discrimination based on factors such as gender, race, sexuality or age.

HeraldScotland:

Furthermore, a separate survey from NTT DATA from around the same time found that more than half of female workers had considered working in another field, with 42% citing more opportunities to progress their careers outside the tech sector as the main factor. Nearly nine out of ten female respondents – 88% – said there are not enough women in senior positions in the sector, compared to 65% of men.

This is interesting, given that more than three-quarters of tech director roles in the UK are filled by men. There is a clear imbalance between women’s experiences and the beliefs of their male counterparts.

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Senior representation matters as a lack of women in management positions perpetuates the myth that women are not as good at science and maths as men. The knock-on effects include a disproportionate number of women choosing to leave, while young women are discouraged from entering these fields.

These are quite sobering findings, particularly when you consider that 85% of all workers in the sector believe technology has become a more hospitable industry for women during the last 10 years.

There has been progress and this should be applauded, but there is equally no room for complacency. With demand for talent at exceptional levels and a dearth of candidates available, tech firms call ill-afford making talented workers feel unwelcome.

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