Women in Tech: Persistent gender biases and the call for genuine diversity

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Survey of 3,000 Women in tech exposes deep-rooted biases despite diversity initiatives

In the tech sector, efforts to promote gender diversity and inclusion face significant challenges, as revealed by a survey of over 3,000 women in tech conducted by ANSR and Talent 500. Despite active attempts to foster a diverse environment, biases persist, particularly in the hiring phase. The survey sheds light on women’s perspectives and experiences, showcasing the need for genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Key Findings:

1. Doubts on Diversity Initiatives: Approximately 70% of surveyed women in tech view diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives as marketing tools rather than ingrained in core business values.

2. Biased Recruitment Processes: Nearly half (45%) of respondents believe that non-diverse hiring panels contribute to biased recruitment processes, affecting equal opportunities for women.

3. Undervaluation of Technical Skills: One in three (30%) survey participants feels that their technical skills are undervalued compared to their male peers, highlighting persistent gender disparities in recognizing capabilities.

4. Accountability for Equitable Hiring: Sixty percent of mid-senior level female employees (5-10 years of experience) believe that companies should be held accountable for ensuring equitable hiring practices.

5. Career Challenges: Women in tech face various challenges, with 65% feeling voiceless at the table, 57% lacking training, 42% working harder to prove themselves, and an equal number citing a lack of pay equity.

6. Desire for Equitable Benefits: Job seekers prioritize companies with equitable benefits, with 90% seeking access to mental health resources and support programs, emphasizing the importance of a supportive ecosystem.

7. Flexibility and Family-Friendly Policies: More than 80% emphasize the significance of flexible work arrangements and family-friendly policies, indicating a strong demand for a balance between career aspirations and family commitments.

8. Upskilling and Reskilling: Female employees express a strong interest in upskilling and reskilling, with 74.6% recognizing the pivotal role of peer learning. Forty-five percent feel unprepared for new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.

9. Leadership Aspirations: While 75% express aspirations for leadership roles, only 20% perceive adequate representation of women in senior positions, highlighting the need for increased inclusivity in leadership.

10. Global Capability Centres (GCCs): The report notes that GCCs have recognized diversity as a vital aspect of core business operations, with gender diversity being one of the foundational pillars from the early years of establishment.

The survey underscores the persistent challenges and biases faced by women in the tech industry despite ongoing diversity initiatives. 

Genuine commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is crucial to creating an environment where novel ideas and practices can thrive. The findings emphasize the need for companies to address biases in recruitment, foster career growth opportunities, and genuinely integrate diversity into their organizational culture.