For years, the tech/sales workplace and industry has been criticised for being heavily male-dominated. Women have had to work twice as hard to move to the same professional level as their male counterparts. Has anything changed so far?
More women have been employed in the tech/sales sector since the pandemic with a rise of 20%. However, the "bro culture" had not helped to support the challenges faced by female workers.
Since the pandemic, research has found that women have begun to work for longer hours, have a higher risk of burnout while others have decided to leave the sector altogether.
What are the challenges faced by women in the tech/sales sector?
Remote work might be beneficial for many. However, for those with household traditional roles, working from home means working two jobs. In a recent report where 203 IT professionals were asked about their division of labour in the home, 54% of female professionals said that their household chores had increased.
As a result, mothers have to dedicate an average of 12 hours per week of household work on top of their remote office work. In addition to this, almost eight in ten women in the tech/sales sector believe that they have to work more than their male counterparts to reach the same professional level. As a result, bourn outs and feeling discouragement are not unusual for women in this sector.
Women of colour, in particular, black women, face an even greater challenge. From experiencing unconscious bias by recruiters to discrimination in the workplace, this group is at a higher risk of leaving their jobs for a different sector. A survey reported that one in three women of colour in the tech/sales industry contemplates leaving their jobs by next year. Reasons for this ranges between feeling exhausted, discouragement from lack of promotion opportunities and salary-related issues.
Despite the greater number of women employed in the tech/sales sector, increased salary opportunities are not equal. The Ivanti’s Women in Tech Survey found that 46% of women surveyed believe that the industry still has a lot of work to do when it comes to the salary gap. Women of colour, in particular, are less advantaged when it comes to promotion in the workplace.
How can this be tackled?
Increase work flexibility
Offering work from home opportunities for women with children and families is simply not enough. Work times must also be altered to fit their schedules, while still ensuring that office work is completed in time. This provides even greater flexibility and lessens the chances of work burnout.
Overcome recruitment bias
This can be achieved by going beyond the traditional recruitment channels. Blind recruitment, which involves removing the applicant's name from their CV's is a great method to ensure that the initial stages of recruitment are not affected by the identity of the candidate. Furthermore, during the interview stage, having a diverse panel of interviewers will also make candidates aware of the presence of diversity in your company.
Mentorship programs by senior women in tech/sales can bring a change into the workplace. This would enable easier access for guidance from another woman who has already lived and surpassed their challenges.
Finally, tackling diversity in an organisation is far more complex. However, this method can certainly put any company ahead. Women, of all backgrounds, make up a crucial component of the tech and sales sector. Therefore, it is important that their voices are heard and facilities are set in place to support them for whatever purpose needed.
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