For some years, women have struggled to have the same opportunities in the world of work, but progress is slow, especially in sectors such as technology.
The PWC Women in Work Index 2020 reveals that more women who have never chosen the technology industry as a path to professional success; however, female participation is less than 30 percent in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, known as the Group of Seven (G7).
Women remain significantly less represented in the technology industry and face a series of challenges when entering, in addition to remaining in the technology sector.
According to the Women in Technology Index, which evaluates the representation of women in the technology sector in the G7, the average percentage of women graduated in ICT, employment in the technology industry and board positions in technology, media and telecommunications , is less than 30 percent, and the average gender wage gap in technology is above the G7 average for all industries.
The theme of the PWC report focuses on the opportunities and challenges that technology presents to women in the workplace. It explored how women have been able to take advantage of opportunities in the rapidly growing technology sector. However, women are also becoming increasingly vulnerable to the disruptive impacts of technology and automation in their jobs.
In terms of leadership positions, the status of women in the technology sector, as represented by its most prominent (and valuable) companies in our chart, is roughly on par with the rest of the economy. According to the lastest available data, women hold 26.5 percent of executive, senior-level and management positions in S&P 500 companies – a percentage many tech companies match or exceed, but one that is still far from parity.
As our chart, based on self-reported company figures, indicates, female employees make up between 28 percent (Microsoft) and 42 percent (Amazon) of the total workforce at America’s largest tech companies, the so-called GAFAM group. Looking at actual tech jobs, that percentage drops much lower, as women take up fewer than 1 in 4 technical roles at each of the companies reporting such a figure (Amazon does not).
The number of jobs for women workers in the wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing and other services sectors could decrease as a result of technology and automation. These sectors collectively represent 30 percent of female employment today, and there could be a net loss of about 10-20 percent of these jobs.
The document notes that governments, educators and employers have a role to play in improving the position of women at work. In particular, technology organizations can take steps to promote opportunities for women and improve female representation in the sector.
Among the measures are:
- Develop the portfolio of female technological talent. Organizations can help by collaborating with educational institutions to educate and inspire students about technology careers.
- Attract women to the industry. Ensure that the brand and job descriptions are gender neutral and that the recruitment teams are gender balanced.
- Promote an inclusive work culture. Initiatives such as mentoring schemes and network groups can be implemented to support career planning and provide a forum for discussion.
- Provide development opportunities. One of the reasons for the lack of older women in technology is the lack of leadership and development opportunities. One way organizations can address both the flow and progress of women is by focusing on training and education.