From women in technology, one in four feels unappreciated at workaccording to a study sponsored by ARRIS Composites of 1,000 workers in America.
As the COVID-19 pandemic changes the way many of us work, remote and hybrid schedules have provided more freedom and more uncertainty for many American tech workers. A competitive company culture helps drive talented people into hard-to-fill tech jobs, regardless of gender, but what exactly are employees looking for?
What do women in technology look for in their workplace?
Companies must view gender diversity as a business issue, not just a social problem, Gartner found in 2022. Women in technology would rather be heard than talked about. Gartner added that equal pay is also critical, as women in the technology sector are paid less on average than men and are more than twice as likely to leave their jobs.
Organizations seeking to successfully retain women should consider advocacy and networking groups.
“We know how important it is for younger women to see that progression is possible,” said Christie Struckman, vice president of analyst at Gartner. “Let them see you and feel your impact by being a vocal champion at driving change in your organization.”
It’s important to focus not only on recruitment, but also on retention and “a pipeline view of the life cycle of female workers in their workplace,” she said. Women also see bias in promotion, 40% note this.
“Women in middle positions place a high value on compensation, vacation, location, a collegial work environment and work-life balance,” Struckman told TechRepublic. “That list changes at the senior level where women value ethics and integrity, product and service quality, and innovative work. What both levels lack is the quality and respect of the manager.”
Victories for women in engineering
About 26% of Americans surveyed are generally dissatisfied with their jobs, ARRIS found. While women and men face different challenges in corporate culture, one in five men report feeling unappreciated in their current workplace. Of those surveyed, 40% plan to look for a new job in 2023.
The share of women in the tech industry grew by 6.9% between 2019 and 2022, according to a Deloitte report; ‘share’ in the methodology refers to the percentage of the total workforce of large technology companies, that is, companies with more than 100,000 employees on average.
Deloitte’s analysis and forecasts showed that 32.9% of the technology workforce will be female by 2022, many of them in technical and managerial roles. In the technology, media and telecommunications industries in North America, According to projections for 2022, 25% of board seats were held by womensaid Deloitte.
Challenges for women in engineering
Hiring women in high-profile tech companies can be challenging because they may not have a network of similar people to model, regardless of whether the workplace is a safe and enjoyable environment. Common “pipeline problems” include pay gaps, limited promotion opportunities, a hostile or sexist work culture, or a lack of childcare. A woman who sees that she is the only one on her team can feel lonely or pressured.
a Study from 2022 found that 44% of women working in the tech sector in the US have seen an increase in sexual harassment at work over the past five years.
“Team members who confront that behavior show that women are seen, heard and valued,” Struckman said.
To remove these barriers, organizations must have a diversity, equity and inclusion strategy that places conscious, measurable progress markers to ensure that women, especially women of color, feel accepted at work.
Companies should also change the career pipeline by embracing apprenticeships and career switchers. “Returnships” can be a stepping stone for women returning to work after a long time away raising children or exploring another career. Mentorship programs and development opportunities can also be helpful.
a different perspective pushes back on the idea of a pipeline challenge. Nonprofit advocacy group NPower says women — particularly women of color — already present in customer service roles have skills in customer relationship management software and digital productivity tools, which could translate into higher-paying careers in technology. According to NPower, women of color will make up just 5% of the workforce in tech jobs by 2022.
“When the technology industry reaches parity with the skills-matched talent pool, we will know that our investments in equitable hiring, hiring, training and onboarding have paid off,” NPower wrote.
What corporate culture do employees want?
The rest of the survey was about quality of life at work in general, regardless of gender. The most important factor in defining an ideal work situation is a competitive salary, with 61% citing this as what they value most in a job. The ability to work from home follows next, with 39% citing this as what they value most. From there, respondents cited health insurance (38%), benefits (38%), and PTO and vacation time (36%).
ARRIS Composites’ research points to several common desires of all people currently working, regardless of gender. A large number of respondents (44%) want to work completely remotely, citing more flexibility and an easier work-life balance. Many employees who work from home say it’s easier to get things done and meet deadlines in their home environment.
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However, management doesn’t fully rely on working from home. 64% of executives and managers believe office workers outperform home workers, and 76% believe office workers are more likely to be promoted than home workers, Gartner found.
Of those surveyed, 73% said they think they would perform better in an organization with a better company culture, and 67% believe their company could do more to improve the culture. Supportive managers and flexibility with leave requests and sick days are top priorities.
With 24% of people surveyed planning to look for a new job, they will factor their priorities into that potential search. Many people (69%) say they now set themselves stricter work-life boundaries than they did two years ago and will factor that expectation into their assessment of future jobs. Meeting employees where they are increases recruitment, especially among underrepresented groups.
Gartner reports that working women are most likely to notice negative company culture when receiving recognition from colleagues (43%) and during performance reviews (41%).
“Leaning into these moments and making sure they’re done justly and fairly is what matters,” Struckman said.
For more information on creating a positive corporate culture, see tips for leadership And combining remote work with a solid culture. Plus, check out the top 50 companies worldwide with the best corporate culture.