Survey finds sexism and bias still major issues for women in tech

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Image in the style of a magazine cover with pages visible behind the front cover. The front cover has an image of a person smiling and text saying 'women in tech' with the title: 'The state of gender equity in tech'

Almost 50 percent of women feel their workplace isn’t combatting gender inequality – according to a recent survey carried out at Web Summit.

Our third annual State of Gender Equity in Tech report is based on a survey distributed among the global women in tech community.

The report found that the percentage of women who believe their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality has nearly doubled in a year.

A slight increase in reported sexism in the workplace

The survey, which garnered almost 500 responses, revealed that 53.6 percent of women experienced sexism in the workplace in the past 12 months – representing a slight four percent increase since 2022.

Additionally, 77.2 percent of respondents felt they needed to work harder to prove themselves because of their gender.

“I am questioned at every step, even when something is absolutely common sense. I have a few strong male champions supporting me, but I know for a fact they had to ‘defend’ their decision to keep me in the past,” one respondent said.

Some areas are improving for women in tech

The news is not all bad. 76.1 percent of respondents felt empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position, with one respondent saying: “I don’t wait for permission. I ask for and pursue what I want”.

And fewer respondents (41.8 percent) felt the need to choose between their family and careers compared to 2022, which was 50.4 percent.

80.4 percent of respondents also reported that there is at least one woman in a senior management position in their companies, a similar proportion to last year (81.3 percent).

An opportunity to push workplaces to make changes

“While it is encouraging to have progress in some areas, such as those feeling the need to choose between their family and career, there are also some deeply concerning trends within this report,” says Carolyn Quinlan, VP of community at Web Summit.

“Witnessing an increase in those who report having experienced sexism in the workplace in the last year is disheartening in 2023. We hope that this kind of research can breed some positives, and that it will push workplaces – and women within these workplaces – to broach these topics and make progress in these areas,” Carolyn added.

You can check out the State of Gender Equity in Tech report in full here.

Main image: Web Summit

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