Only 49% of women in tech feel they are treated equally to their male colleagues

Women working at tech firms report receiving less pay and fewer opportunities than their male counterparts, according to Indeed.

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Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Only 49% of women working in the tech industry feel that both genders are treated equally in the workplace. -- Indeed, 2018
  • 36% of women working in tech say they are paid less than their male colleagues. -- Indeed, 2018

The male-dominated tech industry has long been included in national conversations about gender equality in the workplace, and while many firms have made efforts to diversify, critical work remains. Only 49% of women working in tech feel that both genders are treated equally in the workplace, according to a Thursday report from job search site Indeed. Some 36% of women working in tech say they are paid less than their male colleagues, and 59% report receiving fewer opportunities than their male counterparts.

Indeed surveyed 1,000 women working in tech to gain more insight into their needs and wants when considering a job, as well as what is and isn't working for them at their current employers.

There were some bright spots: 80% of respondents said that women in their companies hold some leadership positions, such as senior managers, directors, and C-suite roles, the survey found.

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While salary is a key motivator for candidates considering new positions, other factors matter to women in tech looking for job opportunities. Topping the list is health insurance, named by 68% of respondents as important to their decision, along with vacation time (52%), bonuses and regular raises (46%), regular time off (37%), and retirement planning (26%).

More than three-quarters of respondents said their companies offer health insurance. However, fewer than 68% reported that they were satisfied with the health insurance options offered, and only 29% said they were extremely satisfied.

Paid parental leave is another hot topic, as tech firms including Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, and Adobe now offer several months of paid leave to all full time employees. However, only 12% of private sector workers in the US have access to paid parental leave, according to the US Department of Labor. About one-third of women surveyed said that their companies offered parental leave--of those, 69% said it was paid leave, commonly for one to two months.

However, 83% of women surveyed who had children while working for their current company said they felt pressure to return to work during their leave, due to fear of losing credibility or value (38%), pressure from colleagues or managers (34%), and fear of losing their job (32%).

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"Parental leave isn't much use if employees don't feel comfortable taking advantage of it," the report said. "If companies have a parental leave policy in place, they also need to be clear about giving employees room to take advantage of those policies without fear that they're jeopardizing their jobs."

The report came with the announcement that Indeed is partnering with review websites FairyGodBoss, InHerSight, and Comparably--all of which focus on workplace inclusion--to bring more information on diversity to job seekers. On Indeed's Company Pages, job seekers will be able to see more reviews and ratings by women, as well as a diversity score for employers. The move aims to boost transparency and accountability on diversity initiatives, as well as provides a resource for employers and potential employees interested in creating or finding more inclusive workplaces.

"Right now one of the biggest problems I see every day is the lack of diversity in tech," said Kim Williams, director of experience design at Indeed, in a press release. "This is one step we can take toward making things a little better for the people we're designing for."

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Image: iStockphoto/Vasyl Dolmatov