Are we there yet? Talent releases Women in Tech 2021 Research Report


A new report, ‘Women in Tech: Are we there yet?’. outlines findings from a survey of over 400 people across Australia, New Zealand, UK & US working in the tech and digital market and aims to help businesses across the globe recognise and address the issues that are still arising in today’s workforce.

The report revealed the below key findings across all markets:

  • 38% cite ‘self-deselecting based on feeling that they don’t meet 100% of the criteria’ as the biggest hurdle they face in the hiring process.
  • 44% feel that they have been overlooked for promotions due to their gender.
  • 56% don’t see a clear path for their career at their current employer.
  • 45% feel that they are not paid exactly the same as male colleagues at their level.
  • 57% believe that family responsibilities either have a negative or strongly negative impact on women’s careers in tech.
  • 35% cite ‘not having a seat at the table/being included in decision-making conversations’ as the biggest challenge encountered in the workplace.

Kara Smith, Managing Director Talent Auckland, commented on the findings. “At Talent, we are frequently sought by businesses who want to increase the number of women in their tech teams. Talent’s vision is to empower people to build a better world of work for all. Our goal with this report is to help companies around the world level the playing field for women in tech. As you read the report, you’ll see a number of clear recommendations that any business can implement today to ensure that they attract and retain top talent who happen to identify as female.”

The report also includes perspectives from leaders who have spent years working in the tech and digital space.

Emma Jones, CEO & Founder of Project F, an organisation helping companies achieve gender-diverse tech teams, shares that: “Women are quite often the ones who are working more flexibly or part-time, and what that means is they often don’t have access to opportunities for development or promotion. We need to look more closely at systems and processes to disrupt that.”

Angela Lam, CIO of Shell Australia, shares how having a sponsor helped excel her career: “I remember coming off maternity leave and I was asked to run the IT department and join the executive team. I told my leader that a time didn’t work for me for an executive meeting, and she said to me, “that’s fine we can move the meeting”, she opened doors and created an environment where it was made possible for me to actually do this. Sponsors provide that opportunity to open the door and provide that environment in your workplace to help make things happen.”

Rebecca Chenery, NZ’s 2020 Top CIO of the Year, shares that: On a daily basis there is a really visible underrepresentation of women particular in senior roles in tech. Women have to look a long way and really hard to see themselves. That affects the extent that which they can see role models and the extent in which they feel comfortable putting themselves forward.”

Talent’s research revealed the top three things’ women in tech want organisations to start doing to make positive change. These were:

  • 28% cited promoting more women in leadership.
  • 22% cited providing more mentorship/sponsorship opportunities.
  • 18% noted fixing pay disparities.

The report also shares practical strategies that businesses can implement right now to promote change according to participants.


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