Wednesday, 09 October 2019 11:01

Men ‘mistakenly’ believe women not interested in tech jobs: survey Featured

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Men ‘mistakenly’ believe women not interested in tech jobs: survey Image nenetus, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Men and women both agree that women are underrepresented in the technology sector globally, but nearly a third of men mistakenly believe women just aren’t interested in technology jobs, according to a new global survey.

However, the opinions of men vary as to the reasons for the disparity and on matters of equal pay, according to the survey of more than 3,500 IT governance, risk, assurance and security professionals by the global IT association ISACA.

The Tech Workforce 2020: The Age and Gender Perception Gap study also found additional gender nuances regarding the negotiation of salaries and job promotions, with the results showing that while men feel they are confident negotiators and women feel less confident, women are the ones who are more successful in obtaining raises and promotions.

Specifically, men reported slightly higher confidence levels in having a clear understanding of what they need to do for career advancement - however, more women (74%) than men (64%) claim to have been offered a salary increase or job level promotion in the last two years – which ISACA says may be a result of organisations actively addressing gender pay gaps.

ISACA says the survey also reveals that:

  • Over half of female respondents (56%) believe the lack of female role models in the sector is the primary reason for underrepresentation of women
  • Respondents over the age of 50, including men and women, believe the primary reason for underrepresentation is due to educational institutions needing to do more to encourage women to enter the field
  • In matters of pay disparity, female respondents from the tech workforce are twice as likely as their male counterparts (44% vs. 20%) to believe that pay inequity exists between men and women in the IT sector
  • Startlingly, 32% of the male respondents believe women find employment in the technology field less appealing than other sectors. Overwhelmingly, women say this is not the case.

“While it’s pleasing to see recognition and understanding within the IT profession about the underrepresentation of women, we still have a long way to go to achieve gender equality and equal pay,” said Gail Coury, board chair of One in Tech, an ISACA Foundation, and vice president and general manager, Silverline at F5 Networks.

“Disturbingly, this year’s research shows a growing perception that females find other professions more appealing. We need to ensure this perception does not become a reality.”

The research also shows that, given the current demand to fill positions, employees and job seekers are in the drivers’ seat – 70% of the workforce can be considered “in-play” in terms of being recruited, saying they “definitely” or “may” foresee changing jobs in the next two years.

The majority of business technology professionals are getting rewarded with raises and promotions (66%) and have very high job satisfaction, however, compensation rewards do come with trade-offs, the study reveals. The majority (over half) of the business technology workforce report experiencing stress or burnout - prompted by heavy workloads, tight deadlines, long hours and lack of resources.

ISACA says that, interestingly, the perspectives on career satisfaction and mobility vary according to age, with younger professionals more likely to job hop and less likely to tolerate workplace stress:

  • Nearly half of respondents under 30 have changed jobs in the last two years and almost 40% foresee changing jobs or employers in the next two years.
  • Respondents also suggest that the older segment of the workforce is more willing to weather career stress and burnout conditions. The under 30s are more likely to leave a role for a less stressful environment than their older colleagues.

“In a white-hot market for all manner of IT audit, risk and compliance professionals, attrition is a constant challenge. You cannot effectively address your organisation’s risks if you ignore the risk of losing your valued team members,” said Derek Duval, owner of Duval Search Associates, USA.

“How do you retain your people when career options abound and ‘company loyalty’ is a laughably outdated concept? Here is the answer: Mentorship. Engagement. Connection. Express a genuine interest in your people and help them learn and grow while they contribute.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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