Despite ongoing national discussions surrounding gender diversity in the tech industry, the reality persists that women in technology or IT are still undervalued and underrepresented. This is not an unfounded claim; the statistics substantiate it. According to Mckinsey, women earn roughly half of all science and engineering degrees, though their presence in these fields accounts for less than 20 percent of the overall workforce. Furthermore, when it comes to career advancement in technology roles, only 52 women are promoted to managerial positions for every 100 men.
So, where is the disconnect? Why are women still struggling to break through the glass ceiling in technology? The answer is complex, but it boils down to a combination of systemic barriers and unconscious bias that continue to impede women's progress in this field.
Obstacles faced by women in technology
According to a report by TrustRadius, 72% of women in tech surveyed said they are usually outnumbered by men in business meetings by a ratio of 2:1, while 26% said they are outnumbered by 5:1 or more. This lack of representation can lead to feelings of isolation and being undervalued.
Furthermore, due to antiquated stereotypes and societal expectations, women often take a step back from pursuing careers in technology. This starts at an early age, with girls being discouraged or steered away from pursuing STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math). As a result, many women lack the confidence to enter the tech industry or feel like they do not belong to this so called "male-dominated" world.
But the list doesn't end here! Gender pay gap is a prevalent issue faced by women in the technology industry. According to recent research from the Women in Technology Survey 2023, a staggering 79% of women acknowledged the existence of a gender pay gap, with men earning higher salaries. In contrast, only 8% believed that pay equality has been achieved. This disparity in compensation can be attributed to discriminatory hiring practices and gender bias in performance evaluations, resulting in unequal remuneration for equal work.
Empowering women in tech: Insights from Anwen Robinson
Despite the aforementioned challenges, exceptional women like Anwen Robinson, a Senior Vice President in the Executive Management team at Advanced, persist in making noteworthy contributions to the technology industry. When asked about her approach to inspiring young girls to pursue careers in technology, she graciously offered some invaluable advice:
- First and foremost, she emphasised the importance of bravery. She mentioned that "technology can often be perceived as a male-dominated field, and when you're in school, there can be a perception that it's a 'boy's thing', well forget that thought! Be brave and embrace the possibilities.”
- Furthermore, she urged young girls not to listen to the self-doubt that may creep into their minds. Anwen said, "you are more than capable, and there are abundant opportunities across various fields waiting to be explored".
- Lastly, she concluded by highlighting that technology is the foundation of every business and aspect of life we engage with. It extends far beyond just your laptop; it intertwines with creativity, fashion, and countless other domains. So, don't dismiss it; pursue a fantastic career in technology.”
Breaking barriers and promoting diversity
As we continue to strive towards gender equality in the tech industry, it is crucial for us to acknowledge and address the obstacles that women face.
At Advanced, we are determined to break this barrier and reshape the narrative. Our company places a strong emphasis on promoting gender diversity and empowering women in technology. We firmly believe that a diverse workforce not only brings forth fresh perspectives and ideas but also fosters innovation and drives economic growth. Hence, we actively participate in initiatives and establish partnerships that support women in technology, including mentorship programs and job opportunities tailored specifically for female candidates.
It’s also why we are so proud to support causes like the Prince’s Trust, who provide opportunity to underprivileged young people. Advanced are also part of the Trust's Technology Leadership Group, which ensures that young people are developing the right skills for a digital economy.
In addition to our external efforts, our internal culture places great importance on inclusivity and equality. We have implemented policies to bridge the gender pay gap and ensure equal opportunities for career growth, regardless of gender. Our executive board comprises almost 1/3rd of women, and we persistently strive to increase this number across all levels of our organisation.
Additionally, we encourage young girls and women to pursue careers in technology through various outreach programs, dispelling stereotypes and promoting the limitless potential of women in this field. We believe that by breaking barriers and promoting diversity, we can create a better future for women in technology. And as Anwen Robinson said, "Technology underpins every aspect of every business, every part of life that you get involved in." So, let's empower women in tech and pave the way towards equality.
Moreover, if you are intrigued and wish to delve deeper into our commitment to gender diversity, download our comprehensive Diversity Pay Gap Report and explore our efforts in fostering an inclusive workplace.