Report uncovers new layers of inequity for women in STEM industriesNovember 2014
While it’s no secret that women in tech roles in STEM- the science, technology, engineering and maths industries - face significant challenges, a new report shows that those on the business side are impacted too, and it reveals a culture that is particularly unwelcoming to women, no matter what the job.
Catalyst’s global report, High Potentials in Tech-Intensive Industries: The Gender Divide in Business Roles, is the first to study men and women in business roles in technology-intensive industries. It found that women are on an unequal footing from day one.
Despite having the same education as their male counterparts, women in business roles in tech-intensive industries were more likely than men to start in entry-level positions (women, 55%; men, 39%) and to be paid less.
And of those who took their first post-MBA job in a business role in a tech-intensive industry, men were more than three times as likely (83%) as women (27%) to say they felt similar to most people at work.
The report offers concrete suggestions and action steps for reversing the talent drain:
- Start men and women at equal levels and pay.
- Evaluate company culture: Is hostile behaviour toward women tolerated? Do events outside of the office exclude women? Consider how the organisation can make women feel valued and included.
- Recruit senior male executives to sponsor up-and-coming women.
- Make performance standards crystal clear.
- Provide a flexible work environment.
“STEM companies face a serious talent drain as women take their skills elsewhere, but these organizations also have a remarkable opportunity to turn things around by focusing on how they can make all their talent—men and women alike—feel equally valued,” commented Deborah Gillis, president and ceo, Catalyst.
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