U.S. IT jobs are projected to grow at twice the national rate over the next eight years, but most companies still do not have plans to solve the gender imbalance in the tech workforce, according to a new report by WITI, in partnership with International Data Corporation and Randstad Technologies.
Only one-third of more than 1,100 women and men working in the tech industry and in tech-based roles who were surveyed said their organizations have goals for gender diversity. Of these respondents, two-thirds report the goal is to improve the proportion of women to the rest of their employees; 40 percent plan to hire more women. Only 16 percent have goals to achieve gender balance.
Despite women making up only 25 percent of IT workers, 31 percent of respondents view their organizations as very gender diverse, with women being far more likely to observe gender bias.
"We know how critical it is to increase women in the technology sector, and especially in leadership roles,” said Alisia Genzler, president and chief client officer for Randstad. “The research emphasizes the need to continue raising awareness while simultaneously bringing men and women to the table to develop strategies to increase women in the talent pipeline as well as best practices for retaining women in the industry.”
Both genders are equally ambitious and measure their career success in terms of their compensation. They both value work-life balance and want to work for companies with a purpose.
Women have significantly less access to cash, capital and funding. However, worldwide only 8 percent of primary patent holders are women, and 2 percent of venture capital funding is for women-founded startups.
What companies can do
Men should be part of the solution, but women must lead the way in bringing gender balance to the tech sector, according to the report. Men can help by becoming advocates and playing a significant role in hiring, retention and promotion of women in technology.
Equal pay is essential. While men and women take different approaches to solving issues of gender equality, both agree that pay equity is a key step in changing the culture within their organizations. Lastly, tech organizations can work to eliminate unconscious bias by increasing training and encouraging open conversations with human resource professionals, business leaders and the broader employee workforce.