52% of women feel their gender is limiting their tech career
Today we can celebrate many great women who have helped shape the world of technology as we know it. From Katherine Johnson, a mathematician whose pioneering work at NASA was instrumental in the success of sending astronauts into orbit, to Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of the nonprofit Girls Who Code, which aims to increase the number of women in computer science — these and many other talented women continue to pave the way for others in tech.
Nevertheless, women are still largely underrepresented in the tech industry and face many obstacles when pursuing a career in the field. According to data presented by Atlas VPN, 52% of women believe their gender is limiting their career in tech, and one-fifth of women are thinking about leaving their current position.
The figures are based on a study conducted by Ipsos and Tech Talent Charter on behalf of WeAreTechWomen. The study includes data from an online survey with 363 women working in the tech industry and six qualitative interviews. The survey took place from May to September 2021, meanwhile, the interviews happened in October 2021.
Women see a lack of promotion opportunities as the most significant barrier to their career advancement in the tech industry. Overall, 38% of women surveyed cited this as a career hinderer.
For 35% of women, a lack of confidence is one of the core impediments of career continuation in tech. Meanwhile, 33% find a lack of relatable senior role models and senior sponsorship a problem.
Other tech career barriers for women include difficulty balancing work and other responsibilities (31%), and sexism and gender bias (29%).
In contrast, the motivators for pursuing a career in tech are salary (84%), supportive manager (83%) and an inclusive culture (76%).
Women take up less than one-fourth of technical roles in big tech companies
Despite increasing discussions about gender diversity in the technology industry, men still hold the vast majority of positions in tech, even in top companies.
According to the data provided by Statista, as of June 2021, women made up about 47% of the US workforce. However, in top tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, the percentage of female employees ranged from 45% to 29%.
The number of women in technical positions at these companies was even lower. On average, women occupied less than one in four technical positions (25% to 23%) at the aforementioned companies.
While Amazon employed the most women as of June 2021 at 45%, Google had the largest percentage of women in technical positions at 25%. Meanwhile, Facebook led the way in the number of female employees in leadership roles at 34%.
Overall, all of the top five tech companies had more female employees in leadership roles than technical jobs. Still, the numbers are far from parity, and gender equality in the tech workforce has a long way to go.
All in all, the lack of women representation in tech is an issue that has been ignored for far too long. To begin with, we should acknowledge the barriers that prevent women from continuing to pursue careers in tech and work to remove them. Only by working together can we make a difference.