Gender Discrimination Is Hindering Tech Industry growth

Sopra Banking Software uncover why it is that men still dominate senior positions in Tech and why men are out-earning women, even in equal positions.

The UK gender pay gap won’t close until 2069 unless measures are taken to combat it now. That’s another 53 years that women will continue to pay a higher price for being female.

A study by McKinsey Global Institute found that in an ideal scenario, where female roles are identical to those of men, “as much as $28 trillion, or 26%, could be added to the global annual GDP by 2025”.


Gender Inequality in the Workplace

Laura Parsons, Senior Manager at Deloitte, shares these findings: Last year, girls outperformed boys in every science, technology, engineering and mathematics subject, and even though innumerable top-paid jobs demand capabilities in STEM subjects – 70% of women in the UK with a STEM qualification aren’t working in compatible fields.

What is it that pushes women out of these industries, and how do we secure them from entry level to senior positions, and offer support in pursuit of entrepreneurial ventures?

McKinsey Global Institute found that 38% of women in the technology field feel that gender discrimination staggers growth and chances for progressing their career in the future. 60% of these women attribute not wanting to be a top executive to excessive stress and pressure. Of all the fields researched, these figures were among the highest.

Something as simple as employers providing or supporting childcare initiatives for employees could prove to be one of the most important incentives for females in the workplace.


What Should the Workplace Look Like?

Take gaming for example: Women make up only 22% of game developers, yet represent 50% of the people who play video games.

Businesses need to recognise the responsibility they have to women and gender equality in the workplace, but also the possible benefits that come with hiring from a larger pool of talent, that includes women:

Increased labour supply
Higher incomes
Productivity gains
Reduced poverty in developing countries
A unique angle and approach to problems, due to a different atmosphere cultivated by women

Once a culture of diversity has been adopted and is naturally functioning, there will be a good discrimination in place – one that filters and keeps only the best for the job, regardless of gender.

How Companies Can Address the Gender Disparity:

  • Provide practical career insights to educators and policymakers
  • Create more support for women returning to work
  • Share detailed information on the gender pay gap with employees and the public

Melissa North, Head of HR at Sopra Banking Software adds that networking is important, “Having a belief and not doubting yourself is important as a woman climbing the business ladder as well as making yourself visible to other women in the industry and talking about your struggles. Not chasing your dreams of going into a new field because of commitments attached to gender shouldn’t hold you back.”


Tips for Women in Tech:

  • Talk to others: Fight the temptation to ‘do it yourself’, and get help and advice from wherever you can
  • Find mentors and those who have been in your shoes before: male or female
  • Use tech to your advantage: A study done by Accenture details how mobile tech has made it easier than ever to balance work and home life. Exploit the connectedness, making use of mobile apps and cloud services. A successful business no longer requires a 9-to-5 in an office
  • Have confidence and trusting your abilities: Many women tend to believe they fall short in the skills needed to thrive in business. A lack of confidence means avoiding intimidating tasks or new disciplines, more so than some men, who are more likely to try

At a time when the tech industry and business overall is dominated by males, women should take this opportunity to get a head start in whatever they want to achieve, using the various tools available in a changing world. Businesses should recognise this as an opportunity to empower women, and to attract the best new talent, regardless of gender – as it’s crucial to growth.