Inequality in Tech: the Industry Loses Without Women

8 mei 2023 | Diversity & Inclusion | 5 min read

The tech industry affords seemingly limitless possibilities for career advancement and mobility, high-paying jobs, flexibility — but not for everyone. Job dissatisfaction among women in tech roles has grown since last year, according to new findings from Skillsoft's latest report.

Overall satisfaction has dipped, and it's the worst in areas like growth potential and current pay. What's more, the report reveals the gender gap has gotten worse too.

Issues of equality persist in an industry that often claims to be progressive but also craves talented professionals. Despite historic layoffs, employers across industries need technologists with skills in security, cloud, data science, and many other fields. And still, a great disparity exists.

In the U.S., for example, women make up roughly 27% of the tech industry. As women try to break into the field or advance within it, our research shows they often face an uphill battle against ineffective leadership, a lack of equity in opportunities and training.

One respondent to the survey shared her experience:

"Tech-related careers can be challenging at the start of learning. Advancing in this career to positions of leadership is even more discouraging because of male dominance and lack of diversity inclusion."

Barriers like these create a lose-lose scenario for the field at large. The industry misses the chance to fill critical roles where gaps exist today. And, technologists face ongoing inequality that prevents them from pursuing a career in a prosperous field.

So, what must be done to achieve parity in tech?

Skillsoft's new report goes deep into this topic. The report compiles the findings of 1,321 women who work in the industry before zeroing in on a group who work specifically in tech roles.

You can find the complete report here:

In this blog, we cover some of the report's highlights. Read on to learn more.

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The Gender Gap in Tech Has Gotten Worse

Despite the efforts of organizations to make diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace a greater priority, our research shows that the gender gap remains quite wide, and significant work is needed to achieve true parity at all levels.

This year’s report finds that women are still greatly outnumbered at work. This year, only 12% of the women surveyed reported an equal ratio of men and women in the workplace — down one percentage point from last year.

Consider these stats…

  • The gender gap grew. 45% of women technologists say men outnumber them at ratios of four-to-one or greater. This climbed 20 percentage points from 2021.
  • Women see inequities standing in their way. 42% report a lack of equal pay; 39%, inequity in opportunities; and 26% cite a lack of representation.
  • The main reasons women explore new opportunities: Better compensation (41%), a lack of equity in opportunities (36%), and ineffective leadership (25%) — to name a few.

In tech, some of the leading challenges organizations face have to do with attracting and retaining skilled talent. As an employer that struggles with skills gaps or hiring workers, it's important to scrutinize your training programs and recruitment strategies to ensure they're equitable and built with purpose. Doing so can help identify ways you can elevate women and support their advancement.

Women Want More Opportunities to Use (And Sharpen) Their Skills

Largely, women in tech aren't getting enough opportunities to further their careers and build a future for themselves.

Survey findings show a lack of equity in opportunities and professional development remain among the top challenges women in tech face.

Issues like these have consistently stifled success and career advancement. Women deserve access to more opportunities, and they want to take advantage of learning new skills and earning certifications.

Women surveyed said earning certifications helped them gain more responsibility at work, land new jobs, and earn promotions. In Skillsoft's IT Skills and Salary Report, the highest percentage of IT leaders say certified staff add more than $30,000 in value to their organizations over non-certified employees.

For organizations of all kinds, investments in professional development and training lead to win-win scenarios, like higher employee engagement, faster resolution times, and a competitive advantage.

For reasons like these, companies stand to miss great opportunities by not investing in women's development.

As far as benefits go, professional development was marked as either very or extremely important to 92% of respondents. More than half (55%) of technologists surveyed say organizations should provide more training opportunities to attract and retain women in the industry.

In particular, women are most interested in developing skills in these areas:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Analytics, AI, and Machine Learning
  • Project management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science

Women in tech roles are calling for more opportunities to advance their careers via leadership development, technical training, coaching, and mentorship. Meanwhile, organizations are facing a critical need for technology and leadership competencies. This presents a mutual growth opportunity that helps organizations thrive and empowers women to increase their impact by filling these critical gaps.

Employers and Women Alike Can Take Action To Bridge The Gaps

Women in tech are hungry to learn new skills and apply them. Companies continue to struggle with talent gaps in Technology. How do we solve this challenge and create a win-win?

For employers, you must help create pathways to advancement and remove barriers along the way. The tech industry risks losing skilled, capable workers at a time when companies are already desperate for talent.

In parallel, women must look out for one another. Connect with mentors, find a sponsor, embrace new opportunities, and advocate for yourself. For those who wish to pursue a tech role, one woman gave this advice:

"Pursue, pursue, pursue. Never give up!"

Read the entire report and see the complete findings by gaining access today: