Women still face challenges in pursuing tech careers

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While female employees have gained hard-fought ground in the workplace, in the tech sector a large gap still exists when it comes to opportunities for professional development and career advancement according to a new report.

The study from digital learning company Skillsoft identifies a misalignment between the workplace benefits women in tech are seeking and those currently being provided.

Opportunities for professional development and training are rated as extremely or very important to 86 percent of respondents. However, just 42 percent say their employers currently offer this as a benefit. Additionally, when asked about the top challenges they have faced while pursuing a tech-related career, nearly a third of women surveyed (32 percent) point to a lack of training.

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"Organizations around the globe are looking for ways to address their skills gaps, and in many cases, the answer lies within via their existing workforce," says Potoula Chresomales, SVP, product management at Skillsoft. "Women make up less than 40 percent of the global workforce, and for that number to increase, female employees must be empowered with continuous training, professional development, and career advancement, as well as equal pay. The time is now for organizations to tackle gender disparity head-on. By doing so, we can build more inclusive, equitable, and competitive businesses."

Among other findings, 70 percent of the women surveyed report that men outnumber them in the workplace at ratios of two-to-one or greater. Skillsoft also finds that compared to men, women in tech must work longer to climb the corporate ladder. The highest percentage of men in leadership roles have 15-20 years of experience compared to 26 or more years for women.

To encourage more women to pursue tech-related careers, respondents say organisations should provide opportunities for professional development and training (55 percent), childcare (47 percent), career coaching, mentoring, and counseling (43 percent), and an equitable work culture (41 percent).

You can read more in the full 2021 Women in Tech Report, available from the Skillsoft site.

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