WITI Survey Shows Gender Balance and Diversity Remain Elusive at Many Tech Organizations

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WITI (Women in Technology International), the leading worldwide authority on women in business and technology, recently announced the results of a groundbreaking survey focusing on unconscious bias, parity, career aspirations and what companies can do to enhance gender diversity and inclusivity.

The global survey was conducted by WITI, in partnership with analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC) and Randstad Technologies. More than 1,100 women and men working in the tech industry and tech-based roles participated in the survey.

Today, more than 4.5 million U.S. workers are employed in a technology role, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. IT jobs are projected to grow twice the national rate in the U.S. over the next eight years, adding more than 600,000 jobs by 2026. Despite the substantial growth and demand for qualified workers, women remain minority employees in technology dealing with unconscious bias, while most companies do not have plans to solve gender balance in the workforce. In fact, the lack of well-defined goals and bold vision has precipitated gender inequality, according to the report.

Survey highlights include:

• Lack of diversity and inclusion points to a systemic problem.

One-third of participants said their organization has goals for gender diversity. Of these respondents, two-thirds report that their goal is to improve the proportion of women to the rest of its employees, and another 40% plans to hire more women. Only 16 percent have goals to achieve gender balance.

• Men and women see diversity very differently.

Gender diversity was rated second to last of all nine areas of inclusion, with 31% of respondents viewing their organization as very gender diverse. According to the report, women are far more likely to observe gender bias at their company.

• Compensation and work-life balance are the equalizers.

Men and women are equally ambitious and they measure their career success in terms of their compensation. They both value work-life balance and want to work for companies with a purpose.

• Women are significantly underrepresented.

Forty-seven percent of the U.S. workforce is women, and more women now graduate college than men. In 2017, 57% of all college graduates were women. Yet, only 25% of IT workers are female.

• Women have significantly less access to cash, capital and funding.

Worldwide, only 8% of primary patent holders are women and 2% of VC funding is for women-founded start-ups.

“This report underscores the need for genderinclusive culture, where both men and women can collaborate and flourish — all of which will positively impact the organization,” said Carolyn Leighton, CEO and founder of WITI. “ We will continue to support and mentor our members reach their career goals, as well as work with companies to solve workplace diversity challenges.”

The report also includes recommendations for tech companies on dealing with gender imbalance.

Recommendations include:

• Men should be part of the solution, but women must lead.

With 75% of all IT jobs held by men, they must become advocates and playa significant role in hiring, retention and promotion of women in technology.

• Equal pay is the next best step.

While men and women take different approaches to solving issues of gender equality, both agree that pay equity isa key step in changing the culture within their organizations.

• Training isa must to eliminate unconscious bias.

To drive greater awareness, tech organizations should increase training and open conversations with human resource professionals, business leaders and the broader employee workforce to help reduce unconscious bias.

“We know how critical it is to increase women in the technology sector, and especially in leadership roles,” said Alisia Genzler, president of Randstad Technologies. “The research emphasizes the need to continue raising awareness while simultaneously bringing men and women to the table to develop strategies to increase women in the talent pipeline as well as best practices for retaining women in the industry. By embracing the commitment to diversity and inclusion as a fundamental business strategy and working with organizations like WITI, we can continue to makea difference and support the advancement of female talent in STEMrelated careers.”

Founded in 1989 by Carolyn Leighton, WITI (Women in Technology International) is a leading worldwide authority on women in business and technology. For nearly 30 years, WITI has consistently been a clear voice advocating women’s contributions to the tech industry, inspiring young women to pursue STEM careers and actively working with corporate partners to createa culture of equality. Headquartered in Los Angeles, WITI has more than three million members across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, along with more than 300 partners, 50 domestic and 13 global networks. WITI delivers to its members leading-edge, best-practice training/consulting tools, programs and platforms designed to increase innovation, competitiveness and revenue.

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