STUDY: Women in tech reveal the biggest challenges they face

Technology is an exciting industry to be in right now as it is constantly growing and evolving. However, it is well known that the tech industry is highly male-dominated and across the years many people have expressed their concern regarding this issue.

Over the years, more and more women in tech have begun to raise their voice regarding their experiences within the industry, which can be seen in Ivanti’s Women in Tech Survey Report 2019 showcasing the experiences of more than 500 women working in technology around the world. Specops Software analyzed this report in order to highlight not only what attracted women into this industry in the first place, but also how the industry has changed for them in the past year.

The biggest challenges faced by women in tech:

There is a decrease in gender-related challenges from the previous year

The biggest issue faced by women in tech remains ‘being taken seriously due to gender perception’. However, one of the main take-aways from this report is that fewer women working in tech have said they experience certain mistreatment in their workplace. In fact, in 2018 63% of women stated this is an issue, compared to 53.8% in 2019 – a decrease of 14.6% over the course of one year.

The second largest challenge women face in the tech industry is: Conservative career perspectives as a part time employee’. Despite this, it has seen the biggest decrease (32.9%) from 2018 to 2019.

There is only one issue that noticed an increase from 2018 to 2019 and that is ‘the glass ceiling’. Despite the progress made in gender-related challenges, over a quarter more women (27.1%) feel there is a barrier which stops them progressing in their career.

What would women want most in a new tech role?

When it comes to what would women like from a new role, these were far from outlandish, with the main request being to have ‘equal pay and benefits’ (63.7%). While some would say this is the bare minimum companies can do for their employees, unfortunately many women in STEM roles still struggle with this issue.

Women in tech would also like to see ‘clear and well documented progression opportunities’ in their workplace. This comes as no surprise, as many are still experiencing issues with the glass ceiling.

Furthermore, in order to attract more women into tech, there should be ‘flexible working policies’ available. This may include having the opportunity to work part-time, or remotely. In fact, just over half of women said that a role offering this would be “eye-catching”, as well as an ‘all time inclusive culture’ (28%) and ‘mentorship programs for women’ (23.5%).

Who are the most influential women in tech?

The women taking part in the survey were asked who they think the most recognizable female figures in the tech industry are. The results are as follows:

  1. Susan Wojcicki (CEO, YouTube) – 28.7%
  2. Jacqueline de Rojas (President, techUK) – 27.5%
  3. Marissa Mayer (CEO, Yahoo) – 26.6%
  4. Ginni Rometty (CEO, IBM) – 20.4%
  5. Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook) – 13.1%
  6. Dr Sue Black (Computer scientist) -11.9%

Lori Osterholm, CTO at Specops Software, had the following to say about the research:

“Young women starting their careers in technology have already overcome numerous hurdles, stereotypes and generalizations. My advice is to continue being true to yourself. You don’t need to change to be accepted and you’ll earn respect for your accomplishments.”

Abby Chinery, Creative Director of Reboot Digital Marketing Agency, offers this advice to young women starting out in tech:

“Women are long time suffers of ‘imposter syndrome’, especially in fields dominated by men. However, women around the world have been able to bring a new perspective to the tech industry, and their skills and experience are just as valuable when they feel comfortable enough to impose them. Studies like this can help bring confidence to women who do not feel their opinion matters to the tech industry.”

(Last updated on October 30, 2023)

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