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Survey identifies 5 biggest barriers for women in tech – inequality remains

07 Mar 2017

A recent survey has revealed the tech industry still has a long way to go in achieving gender equality.

In ISACA’s report ‘The Future Tech Workforce: Breaking Gender Barriers’, survey respondents identified the top five barriers experienced by women in tech as:

  1. Lack of mentors (48 percent)
  2. Lack of female role models in the field (42 percent)
  3. Gender bias in the workplace (39 percent)
  4. Unequal growth opportunities compared to men (36 percent)
  5. Unequal pay for the same skills (35 percent)

Board director of ISACA and director of information security and IT assurance at BRM Holdich, Jo Stewart-Rattray asserts women are vastly underrepresented in the global technology workforce, and this is not only a societal concern, but also a workforce problem, given the critical shortage of skilled technology professionals faced by many enterprises.

“ISACA’s survey findings reinforce that there is much work left to be done,” Stewart-Rattray says.

“By providing more opportunities, including career advancement programs, we can make long overdue progress in ensuring that women are more equitably represented in the technology workforce.”

Respondents were asked about opportunities for professional growth, and the lion’s share (75 percent) stated their employer lacks a gender leadership development program.

What’s more, a whopping eight out of ten women report their supervisors are male and a miniscule eight percent report never experiencing gender bias in the workplace.

One of the key findings in the survey is that women in the tech industry specifically want mentors, role models and strong networking opportunities.

“In fact, it’s clear that women hunger to learn and benefit from the presence of other women in technology. But at the top of the list of barriers for women in the ISACA survey were ‘limited networking opportunities’ and ‘lack of a strong professional network’,” the report says.

In Australia and New Zealand, 80 percent of respondents stated that male colleagues tend to be paid more and without a clear reason.

ISACA’s managing director of advocacy and public affairs, Tara Wisniewski says the time for significant change is now.

“As an industry, we must commit to changing these numbers and breaking down the barriers for women in technology. It is well past time to address these issues, and ISACA has a responsibility to help solve them,” Wisniewski concludes.

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