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Gender discrimination worse than expected in tech industry: survey

2017/11/09 21:12:21

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 9 (CNA) A global survey by the international online hotel booking website, Booking.com, has found that 90 percent of the women in the tech industry who responded think there are too few female role models and leaders in the male-dominated sector, and many of them think gender discrimination there was worse than expected.

The results of the survey carried out by the travel company were published Thursday. They highlighted the lack of women in leadership positions in the tech industry worldwide and how it was a key reason behind the gender barrier for entry.

The respondents -- roughly 700 women working in the tech sector but in non-tech positions -- said that more women in positions of power would encourage entry-level female employees to climb up the corporate ladder in the industry, according to the company's report on the results.

The lack of women in charge was seen as contributing to the industry being heavily male dominated, according to the report.

At the same time, the survey results showed that 42 percent of the female respondents found gender discrimination to be worse than expected in the tech industry. Even while assuming non-tech roles, 48 percent of the respondents said they as women did not get the same respect given to their male colleagues.

An analysis of the survey reveals that gender-based discrimination seems to increase the higher a women gets in the company hierarchy, especially when it comes to promotions.

While 37 percent of lower and mid-level employees reported losing out on a promotion due to their gender, the figure rose to 57 percent for women in high-level management positions, the survey showed.

Despite the discrimination, the women reported an affinity for working in the tech industry, mainly because of the freedom to innovate and the fast pace that can be found in tech companies.

It is precisely for these reasons that Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com, has set up multiple programs to mentor and fund women's participation in technology.

Tans was recently quoted as saying that "to be able to redress the gender imbalance, technology companies need to address the negative perceptions of a male-dominated workplace and have gender-equal HR policies and benefits packages to better recruit and retain their female talent."

(By Jiang Ming-yan and Kuan-lin Liu)
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