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Gender bias in tech industry ‘worse than expected’

Written by Anthony Strzalek
09/11/2017

Gender bias in the tech industry is “worse than expected” and is not just limited to IT and engineering roles, new research suggests.

The global study from travel e-commerce firm Booking.com, found that while many women find working in the tech industry very appealing, gender bias exists and is not just limited to women working in technical IT and engineering roles.

According to the findings the majority of women surveyed find working in the tech industry appealing because it offers them freedom to innovate (81 per cent), a fast paced working environment (70 per cent) and flexible working hours (78 per cent).

Other advantages of working for a tech company include informality of dress code (69 per cent) and less hierarchical structures (61 per cent) compared to other industries.

However, almost a half (42 per cent) of women in non-tech roles within the tech industry think that gender bias is worse than they had expected. This percentage rises even higher for women who are further up on the corporate ladder, with 52 per cent of women in senior management roles and 57 per cent of women who are executive board members stating that they have experienced gender bias in the workplace.

Moreover, almost half of the respondents (48 per cent) felt that as a woman in a non-tech role they are less respected than a man would be in their position.

Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com, said: “While we know there are too few women in developer and engineering roles specifically, we also know that there is a significant gender gap in non-technology roles as well, which I believe has to do with myth and perception that there aren’t opportunities for women in tech who don’t have a coding or engineering background.

“Technology companies need women in those roles, but they also need more women across other critical functions like marketing and finance. More women in non-technical roles can help drive and engage women in technical roles too – diversity extends beyond functional silos.”

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