Women being underrepresented in the technology industry has always been commonplace, but increasing their representation can actually have a significant positive impact. A diverse workforce can lead to improved problem-solving, increased innovation, and more creativity in the industry.
This article will provide statistics and facts on the current position of women in the technology industry, why it's important to increase their representation, and the benefits of having more women in tech roles.
Why More Women?
Research has shown that companies with more diverse workforces, including more women, are more innovative and actually have a better problem-solving ability than those without. This makes sense because a diverse team allows for a better understanding of the needs of different users, leading to better processes, products and services across the board.
Still not convinced?
Well, a McKinsey study found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have financial returns above their industry median.
That’s right, gender diverse companies have a better problem solving ability, understand their customers better, make better processes, products and services, and are more likely to make more money.
Let’s take a look at the current state of things.
Women currently hold only 26.7% of all technology jobs, and statistics show that the percentage of women in tech careers has actually been decreasing over the last 2 years, with only 18% of computer science degrees now being earned by women.
Concerning? Yes. But surprising? Not really — especially when considering these alarming stats:
- 48% of women in tech and STEM jobs report some form of discrimination in the recruitment and/or hiring process.
- 39% of women see gender bias as a barrier to accessing a tech role.
- Women in tech are 65% more likely than men to get made redundant.
- For every $1 a male in tech earns, a female in tech in New Zealand earns on average $0.83 cents, and this gap only widens for women of colour.
It’s all pretty dire, we agree. These stats tell us that if we want to see more women in the tech industry, there should be a greater focus on recruitment and hiring practices that prioritise diversity and inclusion (we should also be working on closing the gender pay gap but that is a much larger issue.)
This can be done by creating job postings that use inclusive language, recruiting outside of the regular pools, ensuring there is diversity among the hiring committee, and adopting a blind recruitment process whereby identifying information is removed from applications (e.g. name & gender) to make sure that candidates are assessed and selected solely based on their skills and qualifications.
Now let’s talk about leadership.
A 2021 report stated that only 8% of all Chair, CEO and CFO positions at S&P 500 companies are occupied by a woman. Why might this be? The research shows us that gender diverse companies perform and earn better, so why are the female tech leaders numbers so low?
These stats may give you some insight to the answer:
- Female tech CEOs took an average industry pay cut of 27% whilst the male salaries rose by 1% in 2021.
- 66% of women say they have no clear advancement opportunities within their tech role.
- 57% of women report experiencing “imposter syndrome” in STEM positions with most saying this is due to feeling “out of place” or not having a sense of belonging.
Okay, so the career statistics for women in tech certainly aren’t great. But what can we actually do to encourage and support women moving into leadership roles in the tech industry?
Let’s start by actively creating and providing opportunities for professional development and advancement, such as mentoring programs and leadership training. This will not only help women advance in their careers, but also provide women with the necessary skills and knowledge to lead and manage teams effectively.
It’s also really important to start giving equal pay and benefits to women in leadership roles. This will incentivise other women to pursue leadership roles as well as promote equality in the workplace.
Lastly, it’s critical to start creating role models and champions for women in leadership. If we start showcasing successful women leaders in the tech industry, other women may feel inspired and motivated to pursue a leadership (or other) role within the tech industry.
Despite the proven benefits of a more diverse workforce, women remain underrepresented in the industry, holding only 26.7% of all technology jobs and just 21% of leadership positions. These figures are a result of the many barriers between women and the tech industry, such as gender bias, discrimination and lack of equal opportunities.
By creating inclusive recruitment and hiring processes, providing opportunities for professional development and advancement, and promoting equal pay and benefits, we can encourage, support and even enable women not only to enter the tech industry but also to become tech leaders.
When we achieve this, the entire tech industry will get the benefits of increased innovation, improved problem-solving, and greater financial returns. Exciting, right?