Half of the women working in technology believe the effects of COVID-19 have delayed their career progression, despite a similar percentage believing that much-needed gender equality is more likely to be achieved through remote working structures, a new report has established.
Kaspersky’s new Women in Tech report, Where Are We Now? Understanding The Evolution Of Women In Technology, found that almost a third of women working in the tech industry do indeed prefer working at home to working in the office. A similar number report they work most efficiently when working from home, and as many as 33 per cent revealed they have more autonomy when not working in an office.
The report notes that while lockdown life was earmarked as a possible accelerator towards equal gender opportunity in IT positions, lingering social biases have hindered this potential breakthrough period.
“The potential of remote working for women in tech isn’t quite being matched by social progression in this ‘working from home’ dynamic. Almost half of women working in technology have struggled to juggle work and family life since March 2020 – a figure that is at its most prominent in Latin America but is a consistent worldwide trend,” It says.
When female respondents were asked about the day-to-day functions that are detracting from productivity or work progression, 60 per cent said they had done the majority of cleaning in the home compared to 47 per cent of men, 63 per cent had been in charge of homeschooling compared to 52 per cent of men, and 54 per cent of women have had to adapt their working hours more than their male partner in order to look after the family. As a result, 50 per cent of women believe that the effects of COVID-19 have actually delayed, rather than enhanced, their overall career progression.
The report highlights that while these examples of social disparity aren’t tech-specific, they do point towards a barrier that is preventing women from capitalising on the past year’s shift to remote working.
“As many as 41 per cent of women in tech (compared to 34 per cent of men) believe an equal working environment would be best for career progression, and 46 per cent think that remote working is an optimum way to achieve that equality. The tech sector must now leverage its own encouraging momentum in the hope that social stereotypes enable this chain of events in the months and years to come,” it says.