Data compares the average years of technology experience by gender
Gender inequality in the technology sector remains a key discussion topic. An increase in mainstream media coverage of the conversation has undoubtedly increased awareness, yet tangible progress is still required.
Exploring length of technology experience by gender
In the context of recent research into the gender balance at both leadership and middle management levels in technology, Tenth Revolution Group recruitment company Anderson Frank mined new data to explore the question of how long women have been in the sector on average compared to men.
Their data highlights a significant experience gap between men and women in the technology sector. According to Anderson Frank, men on average have 14.2 years of technology experience while women have 11.3 years of technology experience. These research findings reveal that women in technology have an average of almost three years less experience than their male counterparts, a disparity that may not only impact their chances of progression but also may restrict their access to securing senior and leadership roles.
Statistics were derived from Tenth Revolution Group's Careers & Hiring Guides. The total sample size for this study was 3,093 - of which 2,230 were men and 766 were women. The data corresponds to technology professionals working across NetSuite, Salesforce, Microsoft 365, Azure, and Business Applications, as well as Amazon Web Services.
As it stands, less than a third of those working in the US technology workforce are women. Research by Revolent shows that 87% of the top 500 companies led by female decision-makers reported above-average profits, compared to just 78% of companies without a female CEO.
Women are under-represented at every level in technology
Commenting on its data, Anderson Frank Chairman & CEO James Lloyd-Townshend said: "We know that women are under-represented at every level in tech, but what this new data really shows us is that there’s an experience gap at work for those women already in the sector. With that gap at almost three years, it’s not difficult to see how this impacts progression and access to those more senior and leadership roles. Not only are there fewer of those positions available, but male tech professionals effectively have a head start in terms of their experience in the sector. This data is also a reminder that the conversation around inclusion has to be more than just a discussion of the numerical gender balance at each level. The numbers are important, and we have to keep pushing towards equal access, but we also have to be exploring the question of progression and how training and development opportunities, and experience factor into that. It’s vital that women are able to enter the sector and that they’re able to progress within it. Experience is a massive part of that."
Advancing women leaders in the technology sector
While there are many impressive women leaders working in the technology sector worldwide, further women are encountering many barriers as they strive to move up the ladder.
Adopting a range of strategies, support and insight can be helpful.
- Appreciate success can be slow - Many women do not simply fall into their perfect leadership position immediately. Many leadership journeys are meandering, filled with learning and growth moments. Mistakes will be made, and results may not be seen straight away, but that's all part of the process.
- Connect with fellow industry professionals - Networking can certainly open doors into new opportunities and forge valuable relationships that can advance a leadership career within the technology sector.
- Share knowledge at industry events: Boost reputation among peers and leaders by attending key technology industry events such as conferences, either as a guest or as a speaker. Conferences provide a great means to network, stay up-to-date with current topics, and establish expert recognition within the technology field.
- Offer time and experience as a mentor: Develop further leadership skills as a mentor. Share knowledge and experience to help others climb the career ladder and meet fellow mentors.
- Seek leadership roles to develop skills: Any leadership role - even if it's small, casual or on a volunteer basis - can bring an ideal management job closer. However, make sure such roles are relevant and support a focus on relevant skills development and new experiences.
- Take on new challenges at work: No one grows within their comfort zone. Ask to take on tasks, roles, and projects that provide new skills and stretch opportunities to build confidence. The more challenges taken on and succeeded in, the quicker advancement to a leadership career may be.