HR News Update – Sexism in the tech industry

HR News Update – Sexism in the tech industry

A recent survey reveals 71 percent of female tech workers label sexism an industry problem. A shocking 43 percent of women in the tech or IT industries have witnessed or experienced sexism in the workplace, a new survey* released today by online accounting firm Crunch reveals.

Sexism continues to be entrenched in the tech and IT working environment, with 71 percent of female workers labelling it an industry issue. The survey, conducted by Crunch, asked male and female tech staff about their experiences relating to sexism and gender discrimination. More than half, 51 percent of female respondents described the workplace sexism problem as ’moderate’ or ‘extreme’. In contrast, only 32 percent of their male colleagues agreed the issue is so widespread. Despite its prevalence, sexism in tech remains largely unreported. Less than half (45 percent, of respondents said they would report a sexist act to management. 29 percent say they would leave the issue unreported, while 26 percent said they were unsure if they would take the issue further. Laurence Barry, development manager at Crunch Accounting, said: “There is a serious shortage of skilled tech workers in this country and yet we may be discouraging half the potential candidates from a sustained career in this industry with outdated sexism. It is a problem that the entire industry needs to address. That needs to start with all tech workers, male and female, taking responsibility for reporting and responding to any sexism they experience in the workplace and with managers treating it as a serious problem.

“We also need more women in STEM education at all levels, so that the tech industries are recruiting higher numbers of female STEM graduates. This leads to a virtuous circle, because the more women we have in technology the more we see how false that gender gap is and we breakdown those barriers.” We are seeing huge growth in female entrepreneurship amongst our clients and have a growing number of women in our Development department at Crunch, so I think we can see a very bright future where sexism in the tech industry is just a distant memory. But we still have work to do, as an industry, to achieve that.”

After the publication of the ‘Taking action: Achieving a culture change in careers provision’ report by the National Careers Council, enei chief executive, Denise Keating, commented:

“The report highlights several areas that our Members already recognise as being woefully inadequate. One of the key asks from our Equality & Inclusion Manifesto, launched on 9th September, is the re-introduction of a funded Careers Advisory Service with tangible links to the business community. Therefore, it is good to see that this report recommends both the establishment of a careers investment fund and the creation of an employer led advisory board. “It is now time, given these demands from both employers and the Government’s own National Careers Council, for the Government to make real changes to strengthen links between education and employment to ensure that the UK’s talent pool has the right skills, experiences and aspirations.”

* The survey by Crunch Accounting polled 500 IT workers located across the UK from 1 to 22 July 2014.

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