Men are not only dominating the tech industry they are actively having a negative impact on their female colleagues, with nearly half (49%) of women experiencing some form of discrimination in the tech workplace, while 20% have resigned from a role in the past because of discrimination or harassment.
That is the damning conclusion of a survey of over 500 full-time professionals in the UK technology sector carried out by Studio Graphene, commissioned to uncover the diversity problems that tech firms currently face.
The majority (60%) of respondents believe that a lack of diversity is an issue in the sector, though women are more likely than men to hold this view (66% versus 56%).
When it comes to potential solutions to the diversity crisis, the most popular option among women is improved protection for whistle blowers – 62% are in favour of this option.
Studio Graphene’s research showed that 58% of women want to see the introduction of more open working practices, such as flexible and remote working, to help parents with young children. Furthermore, 54% back the move to anonymise CVs during the recruitment process to prevent bias.
By contrast, setting a mandatory representation quota of women in tech companies is a less popular solution; fewer than a third (32%) of people, and even fewer women (29%), support this idea.
Studio Graphene founder and director Ritam Gandhi said: "The results of the research are striking; not only are there too few women in senior positions across the UK tech industry (77% of tech director roles in the UK are fulfilled by men), but there is also an alarming number who face discrimination and harassment in their roles. Meanwhile, there are less obvious but still important issues to consider, including the way that company cultures and working practices could be ostracising women.
"Tech firms are in the throes of a diversity dilemma and should take heed of these results – new interventions are desperately required to foster inclusion in the sector. We ought to be celebrating gender and ethnic diversity, but first start-ups and large corporates alike must stringently assess how they perform when it comes to hiring, supporting and promoting minority groups."