Technologists who identify as women have long pushed for more diversity, equality, and inclusion within tech—as well as better opportunities to use their skills and expertise. Is that push translating into more career and job satisfaction?
According to Dice’s second annual Equality in Tech Report, it hasn’t. Sixty-three percent of technologists who identified as women said they were satisfied with their careers, versus 69% of technologists identifying as men. For technologists identifying as women, that’s unchanged from last year, whereas the number of satisfied men rose two percentage points year-over-year. Eleven percent of technologists identifying as women were actively dissatisfied with their careers, slightly higher than 10% of men.
It was a similar story with technologists’ current roles. Fifty percent of technologists who identified as women said they were satisfied with their current job, a year-over-year decline of three percentage points, and slightly less than the 55% of men who were satisfied (virtually unchanged from last year). Meanwhile, nearly 20% of women reported dissatisfaction with their current jobs, compared to 19% of men.
That’s not a huge gap, but it’s a consistent one, and hints at an industry-wide imbalance when it comes to career and occupation satisfaction. In a somewhat more positive twist, most technologists identifying as women reported satisfaction with their managers (60%), but again, these numbers lagged technologists identifying as men, 62% of whom were satisfied with management. Given how managers are on the “front lines” when it comes to helping implement DEI policies, the relatively high degree of satisfaction (and the trust it implies) will prove key in building a more equitable future within organizations.
Those managers will also face a number of challenges this year when it comes to keeping morale high and retaining their best technologists: Just over one-third (34%) of technologists who identified as women said they were likely to seek new employment in 2022, a notable increase over the percentage of technologists identifying as men who sought a change (29%).
While compensation is a huge factor in the decision to change jobs (70% of technologists identifying as women and 71% of technologists identifying as men cited this as a reason for a potential job switch), there are other reasons in play. Technologists who identified as women were far more likely than their male counterparts to switch jobs for better leadership (35% to 31%), better schedule flexibility (26% versus 22%), remote work (34% versus 27%) and better health benefits (35% to 30%).
Why is schedule flexibility and remote work so key for technologists who identify as women? Nearly 35% of them report feeling burned out (compared to 31% of technologists identifying as men). Forty-one percent of women technologists cited workload as the prime cause of that burnout, compared to 37% of their male counterparts, and slightly more called out a lack of work/life balance (18% to 17%). With a more flexible schedule, women technologists can address these issues impacting their burnout levels and, presumably, their mental and physical health.
The low unemployment rate in tech, and extraordinary demand for technologists across a range of industries, has left technologists feeling much more confident about their ability to get what they want from their next job. And technologists who identify as women really want (and potentially need, given the well-documented gender inequities in childcare and home demands — see the overlay below for more detail) remote work and flexible schedules; for example, they rated remote schedules as the third most-important potential benefit, behind health insurance and paid vacation days, whereas men cited 401(k) match.
Sixty-one percent of women ranked working full-time from home as the most desirable current workplace setting, and 54% said they’d want to continue to do so long after the pandemic has passed. Eighteen percent of women who were willing to take a pay cut indicated 20% or greater would be worth never having to go into a physical office.
For managers and companies, these preferences illustrate a potential way to boost the satisfaction of technologists who identify as women: offering increased scheduling flexibility and remote work options, along with higher compensation. These satisfied workers, in turn, will likely stay in their current positions for quite some time to come — potentially even for a significant chunk of their career, given how much importance they are placing on flexibility in their responses today.
For much more on the industry-wide struggle for diversity, equity and inclusion, check out Dice’s Equality in Tech report.