Women in Tech

72% of women in tech have experienced sexism

2nd November 2023
Sheryl Miles

Research has revealed that 72% of women in tech roles agree that they have experienced some form of sexism when working in the industry highlighting a widespread toxic culture, unveiled in Fawcett Society’s report, in partnership with Virgin Media O2.

It was revealed that one fifth (20%) of men working in the technology sector believe that women do not have a natural fit with the industry and women agreed that sexism they have experienced includes being paid less than male colleagues, sexist ‘banter’, and questioning of their abilities or skills.

The report highlighted that 32% of women working in tech roles hold the belief that there is gender bias during recruitment while 14% said they felt uncomfortable because of their gender during the recruitment process.

Additionally, more than a quarter of women outside of tech believe that the industry involves more sexist behaviour than other industries and the report also revealed that the issue of sexism is particularly acute for Black women, with one in three having been assumed not to hold a technical role.

Joanna Kori, Head of People at Encompass Corporation, said: "Addressing the digital skills gap is something that must be prioritised and, when you look at the number of women who are either interested in pursuing a technology-focused career or hold the necessary skills, it is imperative that businesses focus on developing and implementing improved strategies to both attract and retain them – for the benefit of the sector today, and to encourage the leaders of tomorrow through increased representation and enabling them to find role models who inspire their own paths.

"Women have so much to offer, and organisations within the technology sector must continue to invest in female talent to see the benefits. It is important that businesses are proactive when it comes to putting the right policies and initiatives in place, with a focus on fostering an inclusive environment that provides the support that is needed.

“If we are to see tangible progress, women themselves must also be confident in their skills, place in the industry, and seek out opportunities. This will go a long way towards helping to break down preconceptions, and it is with a collective push that we will see businesses and employees alike reaping the rewards of a truly diverse workforce."

Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer of FDM Group, said: “The technology industry is facing a very serious skills shortage, so it is disappointing to see that sexist stereotypes are still lingering within the sector. Women play a key role in solving the skills crisis, so we need an increased focus on breaking down barriers that discourage them from entering tech.

More support must be shown through offering training courses, flexible working initiatives, and mentoring opportunities to all.”

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