Research Uncovers Positive Outlook for Women in Tech 

Ensono has released the results of its fourth annual Speak Up survey, uncovering biases related to women in technology. The survey highlights a growing optimism among women in the tech sector, with 93% reporting improvements in equity and inclusion, largely driven by the flexibility of hybrid work models and expanded learning opportunities.

This year’s Speak Up survey emphasizes the crucial role of work flexibility in retaining and advancing women in the tech sector. The findings show that 97% of women in hybrid or in-person roles appreciate benefits like enhanced work-life balance and stronger colleague relationships. Moreover, 85% believe remote work provides greater career advancement opportunities. While significant progress has been made in gender equity, particularly in technology fields, women still face notable challenges that need addressing to sustain this positive trajectory, including:

  • 73% of all respondents agree that they absorbed more responsibilities than their male colleagues after reductions in workforce in 2023.
  • 26% of hybrid and in-person respondents said they have felt uncomfortable or unsafe due to microaggressions or other forms of discrimination with in-person work, up from 20% compared to Ensono’s 2022 Speak Up findings.
  • 51% of respondents struggle to balance caregiving responsibilities with in-person work. This number climbs to 62% for women in India, compared to 40% in the U.K. and 50% in the U.S.

“There’s an abundance of optimism around the opportunities available for women in the tech industry, but the progress made does not mean it’s time for companies to back down from their efforts,” said Meredith Graham, Chief People Officer at Ensono. “Company leaders need to recognize the benefits of investing in policies that empower women to be present in all aspects of their lives and promote growth opportunities for women that reflect the flexible, hybrid workplace we see today.”

Additional key findings from the 2024 Speak Up survey include:

  • The AI empowerment effect: Generative AI’s overwhelming presence has exposed a new opportunity for many women in tech to advance their careers, mentor teams, and provide necessary leadership. More than a third (35%) of respondents said mostly female colleagues have led trainings and discussions around generative AI at their organizations, and 73% of women have female mentors at work who provide guidance and expertise on generative AI — a percentage that jumps to 89% for women in India (compared to 58% in the U.K. and 72% in the U.S.).
  • Shifting employee expectations: With nearly a fifth (19%) of women in tech planning to leave their current companies over the next year, retention is a top priority. While opportunities for learning and development were crucial to women in both 2022 and 2023, priorities have shifted away from having better pay and benefits to having a more impactful voice in decision-making and greater flexibility.
  • Gen Z in the workplace: As employees from Gen Z continue their march on becoming the majority of the modern workplace, understanding their workplace preferences is crucial for retention strategies. Only 36% of Gen Z respondents plan to stay at their company for more than two years and 50% of Gen Z want to have a more impactful voice in decision-making, showcasing that younger employees want to advance in their careers. In addition, Gen Z is the most likely to miss the social interaction and camaraderie of in-person work (77% agree), making a case for in-person workplace opportunities for younger employee groups.

Ensono surveyed 1,500 female-identifying, full-time professionals in the technology industry from the United States, United Kingdom, and India to better understand the experiences of women working in the tech industry.

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