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Women in Technology Face Increased Career Setbacks, Says New Ensono Research

The company surveyed 1,500 women across the U.S., U.K. and India.

Claudia Adrien

November 4, 2022

3 Min Read
As of 2015 24 percent of Googlersquos leadership roles were held by women up only three percent from 2013 Nineteen percent of technology roles were
As of 2015, 24 percent of Google’s leadership roles were held by women, up only three percent from 2013. Nineteen percent of technology roles were held by women, up two percent from 2013. While Google still has a lot of work to do to become more diverse, it has implemented some changes to help improve this process. “We check and recheck processes like promotion and performance reviews to make sure they’re producing equitable outcomes, and address any gaps we find,” Nancy Lee, VP of operations, Google said. “For example, Googlers in engineering or product management roles are able to nominate themselves for promotion, and in 2010 we discovered that women in technical roles were less likely than men to self-nominate. We found that with a small nudge—emailing these findings to all technical Googlers—the rate of women self-nominating went up and now the gap between men and women has closed.”

Sixty-seven percent of women in technology across the United States, United Kingdom and India have experienced discouragement or setbacks while pursuing a career in STEM. Ensono, a managed service provider, surveyed 1,500 women for its third annual Speak Up survey uncovering biases related to women in technology. In addition to setbacks, they examined topics such as learning and career development, workplace harassment and gender equality.

Meredith-Graham.jpg

Ensono’s Meredith Graham

Meredith Graham is chief people officer at Ensono.

“For our Speak Up initiative this year, we chose to focus on what is changing for women pursuing tech careers, and the unique needs and experiences of women across the globe,” Graham said. “It’s clear there is still a lot of work to be done to promote and enact real change for women in the workplace, especially in technology, which is a predominantly male industry. It’s important that company leaders not only listen to women about their experiences but create a culture of communication and advocacy to help reduce the barriers women face every day.”

Sexual Harassment and Verbal Abuse

Overall, organizations have made progress. Ninety-six percent of respondents said they consider their company to be an inclusive workplace. However, several issues remain. Nearly half (44%) of the women surveyed say they’ve seen an increase in workplace sexual harassment during the last five years.

One in five women (22%) from the U.S. and India report experiencing verbal abuse, with the U.K. following closely at 21%. In the U.K., women report more subtle forms of discrimination, such as microaggressions (23%) or being dismissed in group settings (25%). 91% of Latinx women and 72% of Black women say they’ve experienced discouragement or setbacks in their careers, compared to only 64% of white women.

Workplace Training

When it comes to learning and development, 60% of women said they have heard from employers that a lack of skills holds them back. In the U.S. and U.K., only a third of women said their company offers training programs or academies. With 20% of women saying they will seek a new job within the next year, the demand for learning and training initiatives showcases an opportunity for employers to invest in the career development of female tech workers.

However, remote work remains positive: 85% of women in tech feel they have more job opportunities due to remote/hybrid work, and 82% of women in tech report that remote/hybrid work has made them happier. It’s clear that the flexibility of remote work has positively impacted women and their careers, especially regionally.

Tech experiences vary around the globe. In India, female workers continue to feel discouraged when pursuing tech roles. A quarter of female tech workers in India said they believe their company interviews women only for optics. Women in India are most likely to be asked questions about their family life, higher than in the U.S. or U.K. Meanwhile, in the U.K., more than a quarter of women said men and women are not treated equally in the workplace. Nearly a third of women believe their companies pay men and women unequally — higher than U.S. respondents. The differing experiences of women across regions are an important distinction for global technology organizations.

 

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Claudia Adrien or connect with her on LinkedIn.

About the Author(s)

Claudia Adrien

Claudia Adrien is a reporter for Channel Futures where she covers breaking news. Prior to Informa, she wrote about biosecurity and infectious disease for a national publication. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Florida and resides in Tampa.

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