Women in Tech: Where We Stand in March 2020

23rd March 2020 - 12:00

by Nicole Morley

Women in tech is a topic I’m deeply passionate about. I have written blogs on the subject in the past, and get to do my part to make an impact each day through our Advento Star Women initiative. Around this time last year, we conducted our ‘Women Working in Tech Insights’ survey of 100 female professionals. That survey went on to become an infographic, and inspired our event at London Tech Week. Here’s a blog that outlines the major findings. 

As it’s been a year since the survey and March is Women’s History Month, it only felt right to take a look at the current position of women in tech, and explore if any progress has been made.


The Latest Employment Stats


According to the 2020 PwC Women in Work Index[1], females account for 30% of the overall tech workforce across the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States). In terms of equality, the Index lists Iceland, Sweden, and Slovenia as the leaders in gender parity. The UK’s rank of 16th on the Index has only improved by one place between 2000 and today.

The good news is that more women than ever are choosing to pursue careers in technology and the other STEM fields. The index states that 1 in 5 information and communication technology graduates is female. The bad news is that they are still vastly underrepresented in the workplace and the boardroom. The Women in Tech section of PwC’s Index evaluates female representation across the G7 nations. The average female share of ICT graduates, technology industry employment and board positions in technology, media and telecommunications is below 30% in these nations, and the average technology gender pay gap is above the G7 average for all industries. The average female representation on boards in the technology, media and telecoms sector is 23%.


Women in the Workplace


The key aim of our survey was to gain insight into the daily experiences of women working in tech or business environments. We wanted to know about their treatment, any discrimination they may have faced, their feelings, and their outlook for their industry. The results were very telling, with more than half of the respondents expressing that opportunity is unevenly distributed in their industry.

A year later, a recent survey from tech innovation company Studio Graphine, has unearthed similar results[2]. Nearly half of the women surveyed (49%) have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace, and a fifth (20%) have previously resigned from a role because of discrimination or harassment. 60% of respondents believe that a lack of diversity is an issue in the tech sector, though women are understandably more likely than men to hold this view (66% versus 56%).


So What Now? 


These figures are disappointing, but should not be too discouraging. Change takes time, and it is unreasonable to expect drastic jumps in the data in the span of a year. We also cannot expect to see change if incredible female talent allows these figures to stand in their way. But above all, change needs to come from business leaders, from organisations themselves, and even via government.

There are numerous steps that can be taken to help encourage new industry entrants, and support the female talent already on the payroll. Fair pay is an obvious starting point, but providing professional development, mentorship, or further education opportunities is a great means for investing in female employees’ futures. Restructuring benefits packages to consider things like family leave and childcare is another fantastic option.

Most importantly, female tech talent should be cultivated from an early age. Young girls should be encouraged to consider STEM careers, provided with opportunities to explore these areas and build their skills, and supported along the way. What better way is there to create long-lasting and sustainable change in the industry than to start with the workforce of the future? Until then, we’ll keep doing our part to pave the way.


If you’re a woman looking for your next opportunity in tech or a business looking to recruit more female talent or support your existing staff, please get in touch with me at nicole@adventostaffing.com


[1] https://www.pwc.co.uk/services/economics-policy/insights/women-in-work-index.html

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/pragyaagarwaleurope/2020/03/04/gender-bias-in-stem-women-in-tech-report-facing-discrimination/#2de68f8c70fb

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