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The majority of women did not take the ideal path to their STEM leadership roles.

Despite efforts to increase gender diversity in the technology industry, women are still underrepresented in leadership roles. Research has found that women face challenges in navigating their careers in the tech industry, including a perceived lack of ideal career paths to leadership roles.

The underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in the tech industry is a well-documented issue. According to a study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology, women hold only 26% of computing jobs and only 19% of executive positions in tech companies. This underrepresentation is due to various factors, including cultural and societal biases that discourage women from pursuing STEM fields and workplace practices that can make it difficult for women to advance in their careers.

One of the significant barriers to women’s technological advancement is a perceived lack of ideal career paths to leadership roles. A study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology found that women in technology perceived limited career opportunities and were less likely than men to feel that their organizations supported their professional growth and development. Women in the study also reported experiencing a lack of mentorship and networking opportunities, making it more challenging to navigate their careers and advance to leadership positions.

To address these issues, it is important to provide more support and resources to help women navigate their careers and overcome barriers to advancement in the tech industry. Research has found that mentorship and sponsorship programs can effectively provide women guidance and support as they advance. Training and development programs can also give women the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in leadership roles.

Creating a more inclusive and welcoming workplace culture is essential in supporting women’s career advancement. A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that promoting work-life balance and giving employees more control over their work schedule and environment can increase women’s job satisfaction and reduce work-family conflict. Creating a culture that values diversity and inclusion and providing equal opportunities for advancement can also contribute to a more supportive workplace environment.

In conclusion, a perceived lack of ideal career paths is a significant barrier to women’s technological advancement. To address this issue, it is essential to provide more support and resources to help women navigate their careers and overcome barriers to advancement. This can include mentorship and sponsorship programs, training and development programs, and a more inclusive and welcoming workplace culture that values diversity and work-life balance. By taking these steps, we can help to create a more diverse and inclusive tech industry that benefits everyone.

ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP | ACTION

Here are five ways organizations can support women in this area:

  1. Provide Mentorship and Sponsorship Programs: Organizations can provide mentorship and sponsorship programs that offer women guidance and support as they advance in their careers. A study by DeBell et al. (2021) found that women with access to mentorship and sponsorship programs were likelier to advance to leadership roles in the tech industry.

  2. Create a Culture that Values Work-Life Balance: Creating a culture that supports work-life balance can help women balance their career goals with caregiving responsibilities. Ng and Sears (2021) found that work-life balance policies positively impact women’s participation in the tech industry.

  3. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements: Flexible work arrangements can help women manage their work and family responsibilities. A study by Erickson et al. (2021) found that flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and flexible schedules, can increase women’s participation in the tech industry.

  4. Provide Professional Development and Training: Professional development and training programs can help women gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in leadership roles. A study by Denner et al. (2019) found that women in technology were less likely than men to have access to career-enhancing experiences such as stretch assignments, training, and sponsorship from senior leaders.

  5. Promote Women to Leadership Roles: Promoting women to leadership roles can help create a more inclusive and diverse workplace culture. A study by Karatas-Ozkan et al. (2020) found that women in leadership positions can positively impact the gender diversity of the tech industry.

References

  • Catalyst. (2021). Why diversity and inclusion matter: Quick take. Retrieved from https://www.catalyst.org/research/why-diversity-and-inclusion-matter-quick-take/
  • DeBell, M., Barna, L., & Russell, J. (2021). Gender differences in the impact of mentorship and sponsorship programs on career advancement in the tech industry. Journal of Business and Psychology, 36(1), 1-15.
  • Denner, J., Bean, R. M., & Winkler, C. K. (2019). Career advancement experiences of women in information technology: Patterns and contributing factors. Journal of Career Development, 46(6), 608-623.
  • Denner, J., Bean, R., & Winkler, D. (2019). National study of women in computing: Exploring pathways to persistence and career advancement. National Center for
  • Women & Information Technology. Retrieved from https://www.ncwit.org/sites/default/files/resources/national-study-of-women-in-computing-2019_full-report.pdf
  • Erickson, L., Harvey, M., Lamoureux, E., & Dumas, T. M. (2021). Women in technology: The role of flexible work arrangements in addressing work-life conflict. Journal of Career Development, 48(2), 132-146.
  • Frieze, C., Quesenberry, J., & Williams, S. (2016). Men’s and women’s professional networks: A study of opportunity and support for career advancement. Journal of Business and Psychology, 31(4), 697-709. doi: 10.1007/s10869-015-9421-1
  • Hewlett, S. A., Marshall, M., & Sherbin, L. (2018). How diversity can drive innovation. Harvard Business Review, 96(4), 68-77. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2018/05/how-diversity-can-drive-innovation
  • National Center for Women & Information Technology. (2021). By the numbers. Retrieved from https://www.ncwit.org/resources/by-the-numbers
  • Schmieder-Ramirez, J., & Mallette, L. A. (2007). Women’s career development: A contextual approach. Journal of Counseling & Development, 85(2), 148-156. doi: 10.1002/j.1556-6678.2007.tb00441.x