Survey highlights gender gap on IT issues

Sixty-two per cent of IT women believe there is a glass ceiling in the industry, while 62 per cent of IT men do not. That’s one of the findings of a survey conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide for Deloitte & Touche LLP/Deloitte Consulting.

The survey, released this week, highlights the gulf between women’s and men’s perceptions of the industry. For example, regarding women who are successful in IT, women are more likely to link that success to skill, access to female mentors and education, while men are more likely to attribute it to the prosperous economy of the past 10 years. The survey, conducted earlier this year, included 1,000 women and 500 men working in high-tech industries.

Both genders agree that there are too few women leaders in IT, but 84 per cent of women think so, while only 57 per cent of men do.

Fifty-six per cent of women say that there is greater gender equality in IT than in other industries, although they remain much less convinced than men (75 per cent). Moreover, women apparently feel that there’s a long way to go before their gender will achieve financial equality. Only 29 per cent of women say that men and women receive equal pay for equal work in the IT industry, but 55 per cent of men think they do.

“There is clearly a disconnect between men’s and women’s perceptions,” said Sue Molina, national director of the Deloitte & Touche Initiative for the Retention and Advancement of Women. “This is an opportune time for the industry to step up its commitment to women.”

Although only one in 10 respondents said that the owner or CEO where they work is a woman, the survey reported some good news in terms of women’s advancement to managerial positions. More than half the respondents indicate that “many” (14 per cent) or “a fair amount” (43 per cent) of women hold management or supervisory positions in their company.