The Society of Women Engineers has been monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our members, particularly women in engineering and technology in college and career. We are still making our way through this pandemic, and researchers continue to study how this crisis has affected our efforts to reach gender equity in STEM.
One organization has been focusing specifically on women in technology. While prior reports from TrustRadius have broadly discussed gender equity in the tech sector, this year’s report expands on this work to include the pandemic’s impact on women in technology. Unsurprisingly, their findings align with the feedback that SWE has received from its work on COVID-19’s impact as well as around gender bias.
Some of the biggest challenges facing women in tech this year include:
- 57% of women in tech feel burned out at work this year, compared to 36% of men.
- Women in tech are nearly twice as likely as men to have lost their jobs or been furloughed due to the pandemic.
- 72% of women in tech have worked at a company where bro culture is pervasive.
- 78% of women in tech feel they have to work harder than their coworkers to prove their worth.
- Women in tech are 4X more likely than men to see gender bias as an obstacle to promotion. 39% of women see gender bias as a barrier to promotion in 2021.
- Women of color are less confident than white women about their promotion prospects—and that gap has increased by 3X over the past year.
- 37% of women of color in tech feel that racial bias is a barrier to promotion.
In our State of Women in Engineers session at WE20, SWE noted the challenges that women face when it comes to reaching top positions due to the “broken rung” on the ladder to the C-suite. To help support women in tech, 78% of women surveyed said that companies should promote more women into leadership positions. Other solutions include:
- Providing mentorship opportunities (72%)
- Offering flexible scheduling (64%)
- Conducting unconscious bias training (57%)
- Offering equal maternity and paternity leave (55%)
“In a year of uncertainty and crisis, the fight for gender equality is as important as ever”, says Megan Headly, VP of research at TrustRadius. “Our research shows that Covid-19 has had a significant impact on women in the tech industry. 57% of women feel burned out at work, and 43% have worked more overtime and taken on more responsibilities. We also know that when they get home, women in tech take on a greater burden than their partners. We were surprised to see that most of the tech professionals we surveyed felt that gender equality hasn’t changed at their companies over the past year. We can do better, and we should. Still, a lot of our data shows the resilience of women in the tech industry. We hope this report can help raise awareness, spark conversations, and ignite real change.”