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Women in IT sector see improved gender inequality levels over past 2 years: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 28, 2021

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58 per cent of the women agreed that gender equality could be improved by remote working

A majority of women in the IT sector have seen levels of gender equality improve in their organisations over the past two years, though the equality journey continues, according to a report by Kaspersky.

As per the report, 56 per cent of female respondents globally agreed that gender equality has improved in their organisation over the past two years. In the Asia Pacific region, the number was 62 per cent.

Furthermore, 70 per cent of women in APAC also said that their skills and experience were considered to be more important than their gender during the interview process for their first IT or tech role.

58 per cent of the women agreed that gender equality could be improved by remote working.

“Essentially, the evolution of women in tech has been positive for Asia-Pacific and the hope now is that Covid-19 doesn’t undo some of these steps forward,” the report said.

One of the major challenges faced by women in technology was the lack of other females in the industry. 50 per cent of women in APAC said that a lack of other females in their industry made them wary of starting a career in IT/tech, 12 per cent above the global average.

43 per cent of APAC women surveyed said that they had felt intimidated by the unequal gender spilt while going through their interview process for their first job in IT/tech. The same was the case for 64 per cent of women surveyed in India. 47 per cent of APAC women further said that they would feel less enthusiastic about joining an unequal gender environment, compared to 39 per cent globally.

However, women are more optimistic as levels of gender inequality in the industry are improving with 65 per cent of APAC women agreeing that gender won’t impact their career.

The one major remaining fear, however, is the impact of Covid-19. 46 per cent of women in APAC (40 per cent globally) said they have been held back from pursuing career changes since March 2020 because of home pressures as compared to 40 per cent of males in APAC reporting the same. More than any other region, both men (53 per cent) and women (50 per cent) across APAC have agreed to be majorly impacted by Covid-19 in terms of career progression.

“The issue of gender stereotypes needs to be addressed long before women enter the workplace. It needs to start at school, to engage and encourage an interest in IT and tech fields. The first step in a new direction is always the hardest. Without a supportive environment, girls can struggle to find kindred spirits in online communities or at relevant offline events. They need to see that IT professionals are ordinary people with diverse skill sets and abilities, and that anyone can aspire to join the tech space,” said Noushin Shabab, Senior Security Researcher, Global Research & Analysis Team at Kaspersky.

Published on February 28, 2021

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