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16 Nov, 2016

Almost One-Third of Women in IT Experience an Unwelcoming Work Environment, Survey Finds

NEW YORK, 03 November 2016, BUSINESS WIRE –Twenty-nine percent of women in the IT field experience an unwelcoming work environment to women and minorities, compared to only seven percent of men who feel the same way, according to the 2016 Harvey Nash Women in Technology survey.

Survey results reveal long hours, high pressure and poor work/life balance impact men and women fairly equally. However, when it comes to opportunities for advancement, more than one-third of women (37 percent) cite a challenge in this area, compared to just one-fifth (20 percent) of men. Further, the more tenure a woman has in IT, the more likely she is to list lack of advancement opportunities as a major challenge.

The inaugural survey of more than 600 women and men in technology was conducted in partnership with ARA, an organization whose goal is to Attract, Retain and Advance women in technology, and highlights the current state of affairs, challenges and opportunities for women working in IT.

“The survey reveals incredible insight into how both women and men experience the challenges of working in IT,” said Harvey Nash, USAPAC President and CEO Bob Miano. “Women and men feel the same stresses in many areas, including balancing work with outside responsibilities, and keeping up with evolving skills needed to do their jobs. But when it comes to opportunities for advancement and a culture that embraces women and minorities, we see a big divide. There is much opportunity for companies to improve inclusion and advancement of women throughout their organizational levels.”

Leslie Vickrey, Co-founder of ARA, said, “The survey results reveal 78 percent of these companies lack a formal program to advance women in technology roles. We’ve found many companies have good intentions and want to do the right thing, but progress often breaks down between intention and execution. When companies commit to holistically incorporating diversity into their business, it leads to recruiting better talent, higher retention, and more innovation. Diversity has a direct correlation to success.”

Additional key findings from the 2016 Harvey Nash Women in Technology survey conducted in partnership with ARA include:

The Rewards of Working in Tech

  • Men and women both rank challenging work as the number one most rewarding aspect of working in technology (58 and 59 percent, respectively).
  • However, more than half of men (52 percent) indicate that compensation is a rewarding aspect, compared to just over a third of women (35 percent).
  • Women rank the ability to be creative and innovative and variety of work, as the second and third most rewarding parts of a career in IT, respectively.

Work/Life Balance

  • Men feel the same stress as women when it comes to work/life balance. Thirty percent of women and 25 percent of men believe responsibilities outside of work have slowed their career.
  • Similar proportions of men and women (26 and 28 percent, respectively) believe having families has made them more driven to succeed.

The Value of Mentorships

  • Almost half of women in technology (47 percent) have not had access to a mentor, compared to only 36 percent of men.
  • Men appear to place more value in mentorships (33 percent find them extremely helpful, compared to 26 percent of women).

Early Interest in Tech

  • Twenty-two percent of men became interested in tech in elementary school, compared to 7 percent of women.
  • College is more critical for developing future women in IT, with 31 percent of women indicating that’s when their interest started, compared to 23 percent of men.
  • More than two-thirds of all respondents (67 percent) say more needs to be done in high school and college to encourage women to enter the IT field.
  • Over half of all respondents (53 percent) say corporate policies of inclusiveness are important in increasing the number of women in IT.

What Women Can Do to Advance

  • Based on their own career journey, women and men suggest the best way for a woman to advance in her career is to be confident (reported by 66 percent and 57 percent, respectively).
  • Following opportunities related to what she is most passionate about ranks second, and not getting discouraged at stumbling blocks ranks third.
  • Defining what you want and asking for it also ranks high on the list (women 56 percent and men 45 percent).

Top Reasons Tech Professionals Leave their Jobs for Another

  • Overall

1. Unsupportive environment (36 percent)

2. No opportunities for advancement (34 percent)

3. More salary/compensation (29 percent)

4. Unfair treatment by team or manager (23 percent)

5. Better work/life balance (22 percent)

  • Men rank more salary/compensation as their number one reason (36 percent).
  • Women rank an unsupportive environment as their number one reason (38 percent).

Aspirations to the C-suite

  • Women in technology are more likely to aspire to be COO (15 percent) compared to men (6 percent), and CDO (7 percent, compared to 1 percent of men).
  • Men are more focused on the role of CTO (23 percent) compared to women (16 percent) and CEO (14 percent men compared to 8 percent women).

For more information about the survey or to request a copy of the survey report, please email awarren@clearedgemarketing.com or click here.