Gender inequality in tech
Gender inequality is still a hot item. Despite the movement for more gender diversity in professional careers, women in tech still remain underrepresented, underpaid, and often discriminated against in the technology industry. Studies continue to show how critical diversity is in the tech industry, however there is little progress and action being taken as it comes to gender inequality. A report from McKinsey in 2020 found that companies with more diversity are able to perform better, hire talented employees, have engaged employees, and have high company retention in comparison to companies that do not focus on diversity. Despite these facts, tech companies still struggle with gender inequality.
So just how much of a gender gap is there? According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) women make up 47% of working adults in the US, but only 25% of tech roles. On top of that, Asian women make up just 5%, Black women make up 3%, and Hispanic women make up 1%, showing there are also issues beyond gender inequality and the gender gap in the tech industry. There are a few reasons why the gender inequality in technology continues to be an issue in this day and age: the interest gap, the retention gap, representation gap, the pay gap, and the pandemic gap.
Gender Inequality and Contributing Gaps to Lack of Gender Diversity
There is a general lack of interest in technology for young girls when they begin to think about potential careers. Girls aren’t properly educated on what a career in technology entails and over a quarter of female students say they’ve been put off of tech career because it is too male dominated. Only 3% of females say a career in technology is their first choice and 16% of females have had a career in technology suggested to them.
The Retention Gap:
More women than ever are earning STEM degrees, however once women enter the field the retention rate is low compared to men. According to CIO only 38% of women who majored in computer science work in the field compared to 53% of men and only 24% of women with an engineering degree still work in engineering compared to 30% of men.
The Representation Gap:
Because of the lack of gender diversity already existing, there is a lack of representation for potential women in tech. Only 22% of women can name a famous female working in technology. The lack of representation limits their opportunities for mentorship and sponsorship. This cycle makes it difficult for prospective women to feel the inspiration and security to join the tech industry.
The Pay Gap:
As in most of the industries in the working world, women are underpaid. According to a report from DICE, 38% of women are unsatisfied with their compensation compared to 33% of men. The average salary of a woman in tech who reports being satisfied with their compensation is $93,591, compared to an average $108,711 for men. On the opposite end, the average salary for women who report being dissatisfied with their compensation is $69,543, compared to $81,820 for men.
The Pandemic Gap:
The pandemic changed every worker's career, however this is especially true for women in tech. Women in tech reported facing more burnout than their male colleagues, and a lot of this is attributed to women having to take more responsibilities at home and at work. Even with additional responsibilities, many women felt uncomfortable asking for flexibility with their work location, schedule, or hours compared to their male counterparts.
Reducing Gender Inequality in Tech
Despite all of the barriers to having gender diversity in the tech industry, there are solutions to creating a more inclusive future. Inaction leads to repeating problems for women generation after generation, but if companies can begin to dedicate themselves to tackle gener inequality in tech, change will be seen. It's a group effort starting with education in school, attracting more women to tech and supporting them to make a career in this still male-dominated world.
Women in tech have already proven their drive, strength, and intelligence, but taking their career to the next level requires extra effort and skill.
The Yellow program for women in tech does exactly that. Women deserve to be equipped properly to make their career in tech as successful as they are. Through our Women in Tech Program (link to landing page), women can learn to master the skills and strategies, necessary to feel comfortable in the tech world, stay and make a career.
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY AMI BRANNAN.