Type “women in technology” in the Google search bar and you will see phrases and words such as “We have a long way to go,” “gender pay gap” and “#MeToo.” In November 2018, about 20,000 Google employees protested over how Google handles cases of sexual misconduct and perceived gender inequality and systemic racism, leading many women to say, “We’re done with not being taken seriously.”
This sentiment is echoed in the Women in Tech Survey Report 2018 from Ivanti, a Utah company that focuses on enabling organizations to gain control of service delivery, simplify service management processes, acquire real-time visibility across their services and infrastructure, and orchestrate the interactions of people, process and technology for optimum service performance. According to the report, 63 percent of women in technology cite being taken seriously as their No. 1 challenge faced by women working in the sector. Forty-three percent of women cite having no female role model as their No. 1 challenge, while 40 percent cite the gender pay gap.
However, in the same Google search, new words and phrases are beginning to permeate, such as #EmpowerHer, “successful women in STEM” and “women advancing technology.” Meanwhile, the report reveals some positive aspects for women working in tech. The accompanying figure highlights what the report says that women believe is the best thing about being a woman in tech and showcases data collated by Ivanti from more than 500 women working in technology across the globe.
Sixty-seven percent of women believe that making a positive impact on their organization or industry is the best thing about being a woman in tech. According to 54 percent of the women surveyed, the second-best thing about being a woman in tech is the ability to encourage other women — arguably one of the most important factors.
Women list “It’s never boring” (53 percent) and “It’s a passion project” (45 percent) as other positive aspects about working in the field of technology. They indicated that working in tech is dynamic and engaging, and it offers a myriad of ways to be creative.
Twenty-nine percent of the women surveyed pointed to the possibility of perks as a positive, such as the opportunity to work flexible hours or to work at a hot desk in a new environment. In an office, a hot desk is one allocated to a worker when required or on a rotating system, rather than belonging exclusively to a particular worker. Twenty-four percent of the women surveyed said that the potential for great pay and career advancement is the best thing about working in tech.
Being surrounded by other women in the same field is a factor that 14 percent of women believe is the best thing about being a woman in the technology sector. This validates the importance of women in technology networking events, mentorship programs and STEM programs. By sharing what they know or questioning what they don’t, women can inspire and become a role model for other women.
Sindhu Rajoo, a search engine optimization and pay-per-click specialist at Reboot Digital Marketing Agency, said that the best thing about being a woman in tech is that women are creative and natural-born leaders who are good at problem-solving and handling new challenges.
“These are reasons that make working in tech exciting for me,” Rajoo said. “I enjoy the idea of discovering unfamiliar problems every day and creating innovative ways to solve the issues. Each day is different, and you never stop learning.”
Georgia Fitzgerald is a freelance writer. For more information, visit www.rebootonline.com.