The last decade has seen a concerted effort to improve opportunities for women in the technology sector, and 80 percent of women and 89 percent of men who responded to a new survey believe that it is now more comfortable.
However, a report published today by the consulting firm NTT DATA UK shows that 74 percent of women say they have had a negative experience at work because of their gender.
The findings show that 59 percent have experienced criticism for being a woman, 49 percent have experienced biased behavior towards them as a woman, and 34 percent have experienced discrimination based on factors such as gender, race, sexuality and age.
There is still a clear gender imbalance, with only 23 per cent of people working in STEM roles in the UK being women. When asked how they thought this could be addressed, 77 percent of women and 69 percent of men mentioned an increase in grassroots STEM activities designed to get girls interested in technology at an early age. Other possible solutions among women included advocating for women technology leaders (65 percent) and creating more sponsorships, paid internships, and grants for women to try out tech roles (62 percent).
Vicki Chauhan, Head of Public Sector at NTT DATA UK, says:
We should be proud as an industry of how far we have come in addressing the stark reality that the industry is not as welcoming to women as it is to men. That said, we must not become complacent. Our research results reveal that women continue to experience behavior patterns that make them feel less welcome than their male counterparts.
To address this issue and continue to tackle the gender imbalance in the UK tech industry, organizations must take steps to ensure their workplace cultures are inclusive, as well as implement tangible measures to attract women to the tech sector and support them in their careers.