Women feel discouraged from pursuing tech careers

According to a new report 67 percent of women say they have experienced discouragement or setbacks while pursuing a career in technology.

The global study from managed service provider Ensono also reveals 45 percent have faced discouragement in pursuing a STEAM career in high school or earlier. 44 percent report feeling as if the career path is male-dominated and 36 percent being told the career path is too challenging for women.

Although 60 percent of women say they have heard from employers that a lack of skills holds them back, in the US and UK only a third of women say their company offers training programs or academies. With 20 percent of women saying they intend to seek a new job within the next year, the demand for learning and training initiatives shows there’s opportunity for employers to invest in the career development of female tech workers.

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The report also highlights some disturbing workplace trends, 44 percent of the women surveyed say they've seen an increase in workplace sexual harassment during the last five years. One in five women (22 percent) from the US and India report experiencing verbal abuse, with the UK following closely on 21 percent. In the UK, women report more subtle forms of discrimination, such as microaggressions (23 percent) or being dismissed in group settings (25 percent).

There are some positives in the findings though, 85 percent of women in tech feel they have more job opportunities due to remote and hybrid working, and 82 percent 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.

"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," says Meredith Graham, chief people officer at Ensono. "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."

The full report is available from the Ensono site.

Image credit: Krakenimages.com/depositphotos.com

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