- More than one-third of women in tech said men outnumber them at work at least 4 to 1, data from Skillsoft’s annual Women in Tech report shows. That margin is an increase of 23 percentage points since last year.
- More than 2 in 5 women in tech said they have experienced a lack of equity in pay, according to the survey of more than 600 women technologists.
- The top reasons women cited for wanting to switch companies or roles were compensation, lack of equity in opportunities and ineffective leadership, according to the report published Thursday.
Inclusivity improved for women in tech at the height of remote work. But recent reports detail a growing gender imbalance within the sector.
“We're always looking for a singular reason, and I certainly understand the appeal: If there's just one root-cause, then there's a 'magic bullet' solution,” Monica Eaton, founder of risk management software company Fi911, said in an email. “But the gender disparity in STEM isn't a one-cause problem; It's multifaceted and multilayered.”
Women in tech are, on average, 65% more likely to be laid off than men in the tech industry, according to Eightfold AI research released in November.
“This has the potential to exacerbate the gender imbalance even further, which has already been growing in recent years,” Skillsoft CIO Orla Daly said in an email. “When there is already a shortage of women in the industry, especially in leadership roles, it becomes harder to attract and encourage women to pursue career paths in technology.”
For many women in tech, including Eaton, mentorship opportunities provide experienced tech leaders with the ability to give back and empower future engineers, developers and leaders. Eaton founded a free mentorship program for women in STEM professions called LIFT.
“Imagine you're a 20-year-old woman who wants to be a STEM executive — or, better yet, has an idea to launch a new tech company that may transform the world — how many role models do you have?” Eaton said. “Our objective is to level the playing field and offer a helping hand to 'lift' women in STEM and help them succeed.”
There are steps that enterprises can take to support women in tech on a companywide level. At application development startup Onymos, VP of Engineering Bhavani Vangala, said being deliberate and vigilant about diversity and inclusivity is key.
When Onymos hired its first five to 10 employees, the company discussed whether the resumes it had received represented a diverse candidate pool, Vangala said.
“Now that the company has grown, we appreciate and cherish our diversity and inclusivity,” Vangala said in an email.
Companies can encourage inclusion by embracing gender-agnostic roles both within and outside of the office, Vangala said.
“When all leaders in an organization publicly share that they leave work to pick up their child from school or attend a school event, talk about their role in caring for an elder in the family or arrange a social event, it normalizes such behavior,” Vangala said. “Embracing gender-agnostic behavior creates a culture that will support women and anyone irrespective of gender to rightfully balance work and personal life and be highly productive overall.”