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The Biggest Challenges for Women in Tech: Explained

One of the global industries that is expanding the fastest is technology. For individuals with a background in coding, programming, or other technical professions, it presents a wealth of options. When it comes to working in technology, however, women still face substantial obstacles. In contrast to males, challenges for women in technology are common occurrences. These women sometimes work twice as hard and face several obstacles, from dealing with a dearth of role models to fighting to be taken seriously.  

We will cover some of the most significant obstacles that women in tech encounter in this article and offer advice on how to empower yourself and overcome them. This article is intended to assist you in accomplishing your objectives and removing any challenges standing in your way of achieving success in the field of tech as a woman.

Table of Contents
Challenges Women in Tech Face
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How to Empower Women in Tech Facing Challenges
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How Are Women Underrepresented in Technology?
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Get Help Finding Jobs as a Women in Tech
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Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.
Icon of a black circle surrounding a black arrow pointing to the right.

Challenges Women in Tech Face

Women in tech still face a range of challenges despite progress being made in the industry. Some of the challenges include gender bias, lack of representation, and a lack of access to leadership opportunities. Research shows that women are underrepresented in tech fields, with many women struggling to advance to higher positions in their careers due to bias in the industry. In addition, women are often paid less than their male counterparts, which is a major concern for many female tech professionals. Women may also face challenges in accessing leadership positions due to the lack of role models and mentorship opportunities. We'll look into these challenges women in tech face in more detail.

Challenges of women in tech infographic with statistics about women vs men in the workforce.

1. Lack of Female Role Models in Tech

Lack of role models is one of the main challenges women in tech confront. In tech firms, women are frequently underrepresented in executive roles. According to Finances Online, Women hold less than 20% of all leadership positions in technology. For women, this might make it challenging to develop in their jobs and accomplish their objectives. Lack of role models can sometimes cause a person to feel alone and discouraged. It's simple to believe you don't belong or are incapable of succeeding when you don't see someone relatable in a leadership role.

2. Prejudice Based on Gender

Gender discrimination and bias are pervasive challenges faced by women in the technology industry. Despite having equivalent education and experience, women are often overlooked for promotions and career advancement opportunities. Studies have revealed that men are more likely to receive promotions and leadership positions, even when women demonstrate equivalent or superior performance. This imbalance is often due to unconscious biases and stereotypes about women's abilities in the workplace.

Furthermore, women in tech frequently experience harsher evaluations than their male counterparts, which can hinder their career growth and development. According to a 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center, 50% of women and only 19% of men reported experiencing gender discrimination at work. This statistic highlights the need for a more inclusive and supportive work environment where women are given the same opportunities to grow and advance as their male colleagues.

3. Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a common problem for both men and women in the computer industry. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is a prevalent issue in the IT sector. At tech gatherings, many women and men have reported experiencing harassment from coworkers, customers, and even total strangers. Men and women in tech may find it challenging to feel secure and at ease in their workplaces as a result of this kind of harassment.  

4. Impostor Syndrome Victims

The challenges of women in tech are multifaceted and deeply ingrained in the industry. It starts with underrepresentation, with only a small fraction of women pursuing tech careers due to societal expectations and gender biases. When these prejudices against women develop, women feel their self-confidence eroding. They become victims of imposter syndrome, a psychological phenomenon where individuals doubt their accomplishments and fear being exposed as a fraud, leading to increased anxiety and other mental health issues. Women in tech often feel isolated and excluded in male-dominated workplaces, which can result in a lack of support and opportunities for growth. They may also face discrimination and harassment, which can further erode their confidence and lead to workplace burnout. Addressing the challenges faced by women in tech requires a concerted effort to address systemic gender biases and create inclusive work environments that provide equal opportunities for all.

5. Not Enough Sponsors

One of the main challenges that women face in the tech industry is the lack of sponsors. Sponsors are powerful individuals who have access to information about opportunities for career advancement within a company. They can recommend qualified individuals for these opportunities and help them advance in their careers. Unfortunately, due to the pervasive gender bias in the tech industry, women often lack sponsors. This puts them at a significant disadvantage in terms of career growth and advancement. Without sponsors, women are not only less likely to be considered for new opportunities, but they may also miss out on important professional development and networking opportunities. This can lead to a stagnation in their careers and make it difficult for them to reach their full potential in the industry.

These are but a few of the difficulties that women in technology encounter on a daily basis.  

How to Empower Women in Tech Facing Challenges

There are several strategies and instructions for empowering women to face and overcome these obstacles. The following advice:

1. Encourage more women to pursue and complete degrees for computer science

According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, women only earn 22% of degrees in engineering, 20% in computer science, and 21% in physics. The underrepresentation of women in computer science and engineering departments is undeniable. We must encourage more women to work in IT in order to make the sector more diverse and inclusive. Making sure there are more women with computer science degrees and certifications is one approach to do this.  

2. Encourage women-owned tech companies

Investing in women-owned tech companies is an additional approach to help women in the industry. By making an investment in these companies, you not only help the sector thrive but also support female entrepreneurs and women in technology.

3. At tech events, encourage more women to speak

Encouraging more women in tech to speak at events is one method to assist in reducing gender prejudice in the technology sector. This will assist to alter the stereotype that only males are subject matter experts in IT and enhance the visibility of female leaders in tech.

4. Choose a mentor

When attempting to navigate the IT sector, having a mentor or advisor by your side may be really helpful. Finding a mentor may boost your confidence and motivation to accomplish your goals.

5. Establish a support system

It might make you feel less alone and more supported to be surrounded by other women in tech professionals. It may be quite empowering to surround yourself with a group of individuals who can relate to your challenges.

6. Be heard

Use your voice and don't be scared to speak out against harassment and discrimination. It will be easier for everyone to coexist if you stand up for yourself and other people.

We hope that this article has helped you to better appreciate some of the challenges that women in technology confront. Never forget that you are not alone! You may get help from a lot of individuals and resources as you travel. You can get beyond any difficulty if you are persistent and determined. Take charge of your life and go for your goals!

How Are Women Underrepresented in Technology?

Women are underrepresented in technology in several ways. To start, women are less likely to pursue technology-related education and careers. According to a report by the National Center for Women & Information Technology, women earn only 18% of computer science degrees in the United States. Second, women are less likely to be hired for technology-related jobs. A study by McKinsey & Company found that women hold only 24% of tech jobs in the United States. Third, women are less likely to be promoted to leadership roles in technology companies. According to a study by the Kapor Center, women hold only 11% of executive positions in Silicon Valley companies. Finally, women in technology often face gender-based discrimination, harassment, and bias, which can create a hostile work environment and impede their career advancement.

Get Help Finding Jobs as a Women in Tech

Advantis Global is an equal opportunity employer that works with a wide range of companies, from start-ups to Fortune 50 titans, to place exceptional tech talent in contract and full-time roles. We can help you make a career change, make your expertise shine, or move to a higher-paying position. Get connected to one of our recruiters for help finding remote jobs, interview coaching, and more. You can get started by submitting your resume or applying for a job.

About the Author

Laura Clay is a researcher and consultant focused on gender strategy and organizational development. With extensive experience in conducting research and providing recommendations for organizational change, Laura has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing organizations in this area. Laura has worked with a variety of organizations to improve their gender diversity and inclusion practices and is passionate about using their expertise to help create more inclusive and equitable workplaces.

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