Lack of confidence proving to be real killer for women in technology

Studies do find increased optimism among younger women in tech though

Lack of confidence proving to be real killer for women in technology

A pair of studies released this week shed light on challenges  -- including career advancement and equal pay -- facing women in technology.

Tech learning site Pluralsight and the nonprofit Women Who Code joined forces on an online survey of 1,500 women working in tech and have shared the results here.

The biggest challenges facing those women surveyed involve things that are lacking: opportunities for advancement, role models, mentors and work-life balance.

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More experienced and higher up women indicated more obstacles than younger women, with 60% of women in leadership positions saying they would likely benefit by having more women on their teams. More than half of those women between the ages of 18 and 39 said their current positions provide good opportunities for advancement. However, younger women did say men are more likely to get promoted and paid more than them.

Pluralsight/Women Who Code
women in tech Pluralsight

The most common issue that women said is holding them back in their careers is a lack of confidence, followed by being part of a male-dominated work environment. More than half of women in their 20s and 30s said they felt uncomfortable asking for a raise and almost half said they felt uncomfortable asking for a promotion.

A separate study from tech and sales job website, which analyzed data from more than 100,000 job offers, helps explain why women might be so uneasy – it found that companies offer women an average of 3% less than men for the same jobs and that more than two-thirds of the time men get higher salary offers than women for the same jobs at the same company.

“The average woman on our platform sets her expected salary at $14k less per year than the average man on our platform,” writes Kelli Dragovich, VP of people at, in a blog post.

expectation gap by years of experience finds that startups (pre-Series A funding) tend to have slimmer wage gaps, possibly because operations are more transparent. Though the Pluralsight/Women Who Code report states that only 8% of women it surveyed described startups as being ideal for them, with about half of those surveyed preferring a mid-sized organization. 

One likely reason for shunning startups is the perception that it might mean working around the clock. And according to those surveyed by Pluralsight/Women Who Code, flexible work hours and paid vacation/holiday leave are hugely desired perks.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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