A lack of mentors, a shortage of role models and gender bias in the workplace are some of the top challenges preventing more women from entering the IT workforce, according to a new report by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).
Unequal growth opportunities compared to men and unequal pay for the same work rounded out the top five challenges. More than 500 individuals from a broad range of industries participated in the survey.
"Women are vastly underrepresented in the global technology workforce. This is not only a societal concern, but also a workforce problem, given the critical shortage of skilled technology professionals faced by many enterprises," said Jo Stewart-Rattray, board director of ISACA and director of information security and IT assurance at BRM Holdich.
The report reinforces what many already knew: women are vastly underrepresented in tech and there is much work still to do in attracting more of them to the field.
ISACA’s believes more mentoring and career advancement programs can help, as can gender leadership development programs. Women are specifically looking for mentors, role models and networking opportunities. One way to make improvements is to have companies better market positions to help change the perception that positions are just for men, but instead are open and supportive of women in tech roles.
Promoting more women in tech is important because it could help solve the tech talent shortage. A November report from HiringSolved found women make up just 19.6% of the workforce in the top 25 Silicon Valley technology companies. Meanwhile, a McKinsey Global Institute report recently estimated that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 just by eliminating gender bias.