By: SheLeadsTech | November 16, 2019

SheLeadsTech commissioned the Tech Workforce 2020: The Age and Gender Perception Gap research study to discover why employees stay in their roles, why employees burnout, why employees seek new employers, why women are underrepresented and if programs exist to remedy that disparity, and what organizations can do to increase retention among their tech teams overall. Interestingly, age seems to play a stronger role than gender in perception gaps, but while both men and women believe gender disparities exist, their opinions on why they do still slightly differ:

  • Fifty-six percent of female respondents believe the lack of female role models in tech is the primary reason women are underrepresented in the industry, while 32% of men believe women are underrepresented due to women finding employment in the technology field less appealing than other sectors.
  • Forty-four percent of female respondents believe that pay inequity exists between men and women in the IT sector vs. 20% of their male counterparts who believe the same.
  • Overall, men feel more is being done to encourage women in tech with 65% of men saying their employer has a program in place to encourage hiring women and only 51% of women agreeing that this is the case.


Gender nuances also exist around negotiating salaries. The survey showed that men generally feel more confident as negotiators than women, but more women (74% vs. 64%, respectively) reported being offered a salary increase or promotion in the last 2 years. This may be a result of organizations actively addressing gender pay gaps.


When you look at the tech workforce overall, however, many employees report experiencing stress or burnout due to heavy workloads, tight deadlines, long hours and lack of resources. Employees under the age of 30 are less likely to tolerate this stress than older peers. Forty-nine percent of those under age 30 have changed jobs in the last 2 years and almost 40% foresee changing jobs again in the next 2 years.


Taking this all into consideration, whether organizations are trying to recruit and maintain more women, men, employees under 30 or employees over 30, the survey uncovered 5 ways to increase retention:

  1. Understand why staff depart—Employees depart to pursue more interesting work, better compensation, better culture and more upward mobility.
  2. Understand why staff stay—Employees remain in their current positions because they are satisfied with their work-life balance, location, work and compensation.
  3. Demonstrate opportunities for advancement—Two-thirds of the tech workforce feel they have reached the pinnacle of their career path at their current organization, so organizations must illustrate a better path for upward movement.
  4. Keep compensation in regular review—Proper compensation is the second most important consideration when employees weigh leaving their current position.
  5. Continually offer training and skill development—Respondents noted top obstacles for them include insufficient skills, limited access to career opportunities, lack of resources for training and lack of certifications.


To gain more insights from the recent ISACA survey, visit the Tech Workforce 2020: The Age and Gender Perception Gap page of the ISACA® website.

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