Gender Gap Persists in the Tech Industry

Undoubtedly tech companies continue to make their mark as employment visionaries. In recent months, tech companies have chartered the way for creative, employee-favorable practices such as paid parental leave, unlimited vacation time, and open pay policies to name just a few commendable achievements.  Yet, while these innovators stride ahead in many notable areas of the employment law sphere, studies show that their workforces remain blinded to the disconcerting reality that a pervasive gender gap persists in this otherwise very progressive industry.

Even though women make up half of the U.S. workforce, at top tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, LinkedIn and Intel women make up less than 30% of the workforce. The percentages of women in leadership positions within those companies are similarly 30% and lower.

The fact that women hold fewer tech jobs and leadership positions is fairly unsurprising given that the tech industry has historically been one that is male-dominated, but what is unexpected is that men within the tech industry are seemingly unaware of these inequities.

A study by PayScale has revealed a large perception gap from male tech employees with regard to gender equality.

Of 140,000 employees surveyed, 66% of male tech employees said that they believed men and women have equal opportunities in most workplaces. Only 30% of their female tech counterparts agreed.

The perception gap became even more exaggerated when tech employees were asked about their own workplaces. The study found that 80% of male tech employees believed that there are equal opportunities for men and women in their own workplaces.  Only 44% of their female tech counterparts agreed.

Outside of the tech industry, there is a similar perception gap between men and women concerning gender equality, but not nearly as high of a perception gap as within the tech industry: 75% of men outside of tech believed that there are equal opportunities for men and women in their own workplaces, whereas 51% of women outside of tech believed the same.

The cause of the perception gap among men in tech is open for interpretation, but many believe that this is an unconscious bias rather than an active decision to hold discriminatory animus against women’s advancement.

Regardless of its origins, most agree that the first step toward combating these faulty perceptions and allowing for greater equality within the tech industry is making those within the industry aware that a problem does indeed exist.

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