What Women in Tech Want

Women who work in technology prize health insurance as the No. 1 priority when considering a new job, feel pressured to return to work from parental leave by fear of losing their job or antagonizing their managers and colleagues and often feel that men receive preferential treatment in the workplace. These findings come from a new survey of 1,000 women working in tech by Indeed, which has also just announced a new partnership that’s designed to give female job seekers greater insight into organizations that are hiring.

“There’s a critical conversation happening right now across the country as companies and employees, women and men, are coming to terms with the problems that still exist for women in many workplaces,” says Ursula Mead, CEO of InHerSight, which features ratings of companies by women for women on factors such as flexibility and career opportunities.

InHerSight is one of three companies Indeed is partnering with in the new initiative — the other two are FairyGodBoss, which also features companies rated by women, and Comparably, which scores companies on the basis of their diversity. Data from the three companies will be available via Indeed’s Company Pages, with the goal to make it easier for job candidates to identify companies that are supportive of working women.

The survey, released in tandem with the partnership announcement, finds that 68 percent of the women technologists say health insurance is the top priority when considering new opportunities. Fifty two percent of women chose vacation time, while 46 percent chose bonuses and regular raises, 37 percent chose regular time off and 26 percent chose retirement planning.

Parental leave was a sore point for many of the women: Of the respondents who had children while working for their current employer, 83 percent said they felt some pressure to return to work during their parental leave. Thirty eight percent cited a fear of losing credibility or value, while 34 percent said the pressure came directly from their colleagues or managers and 32 percent pointed to fear of losing their jobs.

Just 49 percent of the respondents said they feel that both genders are treated equally in the workplace. Thirty six percent feel that men receive some degree of favorable treatment. The survey uncovered a big age gap in perceptions of gender inequality, with 43 percent of women ages 45 and up saying they believe men receive favorable treatment compared to just 20 percent of those ages 16 to 24. More than a third of respondents (36 percent) said they’re paid less than male colleagues and 59 percent say they receive fewer opportunities than their male coworkers.

Andrew R. McIlvaine
Andrew R. McIlvaine is former senior editor with Human Resource Executive®.