Opinion Tech News

Workplace Challenges & Opportunities for Female Tech Workforce

Working women are a part of the ever growing tech workforce and the number is growing every day. There is a growing demand for women in tech job in technical roles although the numbers are less which around 20% of the total workforce as per data compiled by Evia the event management company.

There are efforts to recruit more women in tech jobs but the ratio of women leaving jobs is also high. The reasons are many and there is an underlying discord as to why women are leaving jobs. There are several factors that prevent women from pursuing a tech career. CapitalOne research says that 73% of women who chose to stay in tech jobs for long-term, considered leaving at some point due to workplace challenges such as limited advanced opportunities (27%), unfair compensation compared to peers (25%), and little support from management (22%).

The boom in the tech industry needs more skilled professional and women workforce to  contribute and they should be  motivated to take up more tech job and embark a career in technology with required talent and skill set. This will require major set up changes by management of companies to support women in technical roles and succeed by providing required training, opportunity for advancement, fair pay and work life balance.

Women in tech continue to think they are paid less then their male counter parts, career growth in terms of promotions and having clearly defined path in switching roles within the company are some of the major barriers to females leaving their jobs in tech field.

As per the research women who chose to leave their tech careers cited weak management support (23%), lack of opportunity (20%) and not enough work-life balance (22%) as the top factors in their decisions.

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The survey finds that organizations who are willing to make their women tech workforce more productive must take initiatives in providing them with challenging and rewarding work with opportunities for advancement. This is also a way to keep growing in careers and retaining of top talent.

Providing right training at right time will create skilled workforce. The survey found that women favoured training to be critical for success. Continuous skills development that leverages women’s high confidence for solving problems is a must along with promotions and switching to job roles which are empowering. This also includes creating an environment of work life balance and one reason for women to pursue a long term career in tech related jobs.

Women who have other women as role models, mentors, peer networks and social connections are more likely to thrive and advance in their tech careers finds the survey. Organization should actively encourage and take actions to make sure that women have access to these resources. This will indirectly and positively impact retention rates. Supporting women in solving meaningful problems with technology can help them find and deepen their sense of purpose in their company and in society-at-large.

Nirita Bose Head IT Axis Asset Management says “There are a much higher percentage of women in today’s workforce compared to the previous generation. We see women who are doctors, teachers, lawyers, entrepreneurs. We see relatively fewer women in the corporate environment  and even fewer in IT”.

A large part of the reason is that  IT work typically involves long and strenuous timings, While work-life balance certainly poses a challenge – prevalent perception that IT is a male dominated role is also one of the reasons that we see fewer women apply to IT jobs.

Bose further elaborated how present day set up by progressive employers have show light by allowing flexible hours, some employers offer daycares in house/ tie up with good daycare centres,offer part time working facilities after maternity etc.

“For all those women who enter and persist in the IT space – there is a wealth of opportunities it is an industry by itself – across BFSI/Manufacturing/Healthcare etc and there are a host of roles – so you are spoilt for choice”

(Image Courtesy: www.moneycontrol.com)

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