As leaders in technology gather in person and virtually this week at CES to witness the latest innovations, women in tech should be top of mind—especially given the continuing stresses of the global pandemic. Why? Consider the following:
- Only 38% of women in technology feel their organization’s commitment to supporting them during the pandemic has been sufficient, and just 30% say their employer increased their access to flexible work.
- 51% of women in technology feel less optimistic about their career prospects now than before the pandemic, and 57% expect to leave their employer for a new role within 2 years—citing lack of work-life balance as the biggest reason.
It’s sentiments like these and their impact on the sector that has made the importance of supporting women in tech one of the key trends in Deloitte’s 2022 Predictions. If technology companies want to succeed in the coming year and beyond, they need to renew their commitment to advancing gender diversity in tech—especially as COVID-19 moves from pandemic to endemic
Progress—but with headwinds
It’s true that large tech companies have been making slow but steady progress on female workforce representation, with the proportion of women in technical roles steadily increasing over the past three years. In fact, an analysis of 20 large technology companies’ annual workforce diversity reports shows that they have maintained their momentum on the gender front in the past two years.
But this progress is now showing stress under the strains of the pandemic. According to Deloitte’s Women @ Work global survey, women’s satisfaction with work-life balance in the industry has dropped to 32% from 70% pre-pandemic. And this is just one telling statistic when it comes to women in tech: in every category surveyed—from productivity to mental well-being—satisfaction dropped by double digits.[v]
Add this to the still persistent lack of gender diversity in the sector, and the future of advancing women in tech becomes even cloudier. Chief among these challenges are the enduring issues related to retention, pay, and promotion. Half of the industry’s female workers drop out of tech by mid-career and women make up less than a quarter of tech’s senior leadership roles—with gender bias the top obstacle preventing women from moving into leadership positions. It’s no wonder that a startling 22% of women in tech are considering leaving the workforce altogether given the impediments to advancing, both old and new.
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