Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Report uncovers new layers of inequity for women in STEM industries

November 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.

Catalyst | Global | Equality

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