Survey of women, men in IT shows differing views

Survey results from IT staffing firm Technisource reveal how men and women view their jobs and career opportunities in the IT field.

Do men and women who work in IT see their jobs and career opportunities differently? A new survey from IT staffing firm Technisource finds some disparities but also areas of agreement.

Released yesterday, the "Technisource Women & Men in Information Technology Survey" (PDF) discovered differences in viewpoints among men and women in IT in such areas as compensation and career challenges.

Among some of the specific findings, 78 percent of the women polled said they don't believe compensation is equivalent between them and their male colleagues. But almost half of the men surveyed do think it's equal between the sexes. In response to the statement: "Female IT workers face a different set of career challenges than their male counterparts," 74 percent of the women but only 48 percent of the men agreed.

Looking at other issues, 42 percent of the women in the poll said they believe that IT is mainly a male career path, while only 30 percent of men echoed that belief. And 73 percent of the female workers said they feel women don't have enough role models in the IT industry, a belief shared by just 52 percent of the men.

The report "shows that there appear to be differences beyond how both women and men view their compensation and career progression within the IT field," Alisia Genzler, vice president of the Northeast region of Technisource, said in a statement. "Employers should take heed of these differing mindsets to better understand the unique priorities and challenges each of these groups face."

But in certain areas, men and women were much closer in their respective views. Does society encourage young women to study math and sciences? Only 24 percent of the women and 26 percent of the men said they feel it does. A majority of both men (66 percent) and women (78 percent) said that IT could use more female workers.

Aside from the issue of compensation, men and women were in relatively equal agreement about the most important factors contributing to their career satisfaction. Being challenged topped the list, with flexibility and relationships with managers and co-workers further down.

Technisource

And despite any disparity in certain viewpoints, both genders feel equally satisfied with their careers, with 66 percent of women and 65 percent of men planning to spend the rest of their careers in IT.

Conducted online in the U.S. by Monster on behalf of Technisource, the survey ran from September 23 to October 1 and drew responses from 506 full-time and part-time IT workers. Among the respondents, 67 percent were male and 33 percent female.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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