When I hear the stories of women in tech that have contacted me, the reason is almost always the same: Despite the fact that there is a talent shortage for women in tech, they can’t seem to break into the field.
They are denied opportunities because of their gender and are often less given the support they need to succeed. Women leave tech because of the negative experiences they have with gender bias, sexual harassment and discrimination, while men stay because they have no incentive to leave. They remain trapped in the white-glove world of the tech industry, where they are discriminated against because of gender and their chances of advancement diminish over time. The causes of this gender disparity are many, including unconscious bias, low educational attainment for women, as well as stereotyping of women as being good communicators and goal-oriented versus men as not being as thoughtful and detail-oriented.
The solution to this is not to just strive for diversity, but for change at the organizational and personal levels. First, we need more women in leadership roles, as they have the ability to change the culture, and then we need to communicate this so that men will understand the behaviors they are exhibiting and modify them.
Women in IT traditionally have fewer leadership positions than their male counterparts. This is not always the case, and this year’s Great Place to Work Institute Corporate Equality Index revealed that tech firms are increasingly embracing gender diversity and female employees are under-represented in many firms. Still, in addition to these areas, the tech industry has and will continue to face challenges with bias.
When employees feel unwelcome due to their gender or race, their decision-making can be affected, and they might consider leaving their jobs. The below infographic offers a snapshot of the various levels of tech bias, based on the latest EEOC reports. (Note: All statistics are based on studies conducted by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the state of California, and the state of Massachusetts.)
Read on for the infographic to learn more about tech workplace bias. * Source: 2018 US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Workplace Bias Report