International Women's Day 2023: Embrace Equity
This year's International Women's Day theme is 'Embrace Equity'. At Walr, we wanted to do that by doing what we do best, creating data. We conducted several surveys to unpack different themes of gender equity to understand people's views and opinions today.
International Women’s Day 2023
International Women’s Day has been formally observed for over a hundred years. It calls people “to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women”. The day aims to acknowledge where we are, how far we have come, and what steps we still need to take to achieve equity for all.
This year’s theme is Embrace Equity; a reminder for everyone to understand that collective activism is necessary for true change.
At Walr, we wanted to Embrace Equity by doing what we do best, creating data. Over the course of several blogs, we will unpack different themes surrounding gender equity, to get a better idea of people’s views and opinions today.
How Far Are We from Achieving Gender Equity?
The past few years have seen great progress in terms of women in tech roles. Tech Nation reported the workforce is now 26% female, an increase of 7% from 2020; and a new initiative has been launched in the UK to help women back into STEM-based careers. However, women are still greatly underrepresented, particularly in senior positions.
In Q1 2023, we surveyed 2,054 people, working in the tech sector, across the UK, US, and India, to understand this remaining imbalance and what may be done to address it.
77% of our survey participants believe there are more men than women in their current company. Over half (52%) of all respondents said a “lack of flexible working” was a key reason there is not yet a gender balance. Other reasons included a “perceived gender pay gap” (44%) and “the fact that it is such a male dominated industry” (42%).
Fortunately, the majority of respondents (55%) claimed employers are placing a strong focus on providing equal opportunities. With 83% agreeing that in their current workplace, “promotions are based only on individual employee performance”.
What these two findings show is that the industry is making strides in its work to treat women in tech roles equitably. Yet, there is still work to be done to attract women to the tech industry in the first place. InnovateHer reported that just 20% of students taking Computer Science at GCSE are female. In our study, 56% of participants agreed that schools and STEM programs need to play a greater role.
Therefore, although we are seeing positive progress, our focus must be on how we support young women entering the industry. We have to move it away from being a male-dominated career path, towards a more balanced environment. Access to STEM programs, flexible working, and available career development opportunities could be key ways to encourage more women into tech.
Promoting initiatives, such as DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality, is also hugely beneficial, as they directly address the digital gender gap and advertise ways women can be trained up to enter the industry.
The majority of our participants (71%) believe the greatest contributor to gender imbalances is society. Therefore, we must get behind these brilliant projects to reframe our perspective of women in tech, to embrace equity for all.
To survey people working in the tech sector to understand if women are afforded the same opportunities as men, or if gender discrimination has hindered their career path.
- 2,054 people were surveyed in the UK, US, and India.
- All individuals were 18+ and working the tech sector.
- Fieldwork ran from the 3rd Feb 2023 to the 20th Feb 2023.
From this research we found the following:
- The majority of respondents (58%) believe there are more men than women working in the tech sector; this figure dropped to 45% in India, increased to 60% in the UK, and 70% in the US.
- The majority of respondents (83%) agreed that in their current workplace, “promotions are based only on individual employee performance” and this varies little by market.
- Over half (55%) of all respondents said their “workplace has a strong focus on equal opportunities” and this increases to 58% in the USA and 64% in India. However, this drops to 43% in the UK, with half of all UK respondents (50%) claiming their “company does some things well but could be doing more.”
- The majority of participants (71%) said society is the greatest contributor to societal gender imbalances. However, employers are not blameless, as 44% said employers also contribute to societal gender imbalances and this rises to 51% in the US.
- Encouragingly, 79% agreed that men and women are treated equally in their current workplace. There is some disagreement on this among men and women with 82% of men saying their current employer treats everyone equally regardless of gender vs. 75% of women.
- Many respondents (64%) said they believe flexible hours are key to getting more women into the tech sector. Additionally, 56% agreed that schools and STEM programs need to play a role as well.
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