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More needed to improve pay gap, working environment for women in tech: Harvey Nash

October 16 2018

More organizations are pursuing initiatives to increase the number of women working in technology, according to a survey by global staffing firm Harvey Nash. However, more is needed to close the pay gap and improve working environments.

Thirty-one percent of the survey’s respondents said their organizations provide career development programs for women once they’ve been hired, a 41% increase from the previous two years. And more than a quarter of respondents, 29%, said their companies offer programs to support recruiting and hiring of women in technology.

Half of the women surveyed, 51%, find working in technology financially rewarding — up from 35% two years ago. However, a wide gap remains between men and women; just 30% of women believe their company pays men and women equally, compared to 68% of men who believe the same. Those proportions remain similar across salary levels. And despite 43% of women reporting the #MeToo movement has had a positive impact in the workplace, the number of women who said their work environment remains unwelcoming increased to 35% from 30% in last year’s survey.

The research also found failing to pursue recruitment and career development programs for women can directly affect talent retention. One-third of women, 33%, cited an unsupportive environment as a deciding factor in leaving their last job, compared to 23% of men. And 23% of women moved on in part due to unfair treatment, compared to 13% of men who said the same.

The technology industry’s reputation for high-pressure assignments and long hours are echoed in this year’s survey. Work/life balance is a challenge for both genders, as 44% of men and 48% of women reported that family responsibilities threaten to slow their careers. However, twice as many women as men say having a family translates into lost opportunities for advancement or equal pay, at 57% and 28% respectively.

The survey of 681 women and men in technology was conducted in partnership with ARA, an organization whose goal is to help businesses increase the numbers and influence of women working in technology, while also helping women navigate IT career paths and challenges. It was conducted from Aug.1 through Aug. 29, 2018, and surveyed IT professionals from junior level to the c-suite.

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