During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more Canadian women working in technology agree that they have a good work-life balance and feel supported by their company, compared to Canadian women working outside of technology. However, they are more likely to report feeling like their career growth and goals have been stunted, and an astonishing 44 per cent of respondents agree that the pandemic notwithstanding, technology companies do not really want to hire women.
The survey shows that technology companies have done a good job helping women manage the new way of work: Women in technology are more likely to agree they feel supported by their company (63 per cent vs. 51 per cent in non-technology roles), have a good work-life balance (57 per cent vs. 50 per cent in non-technology roles) and feel more productive (54 per cent vs. 33 per cent in non-technology roles).
However, due to the pandemic, nearly half (48 per cent) of women in technology agree that their career growth or goals have been stunted, higher than those not in the technology sector (31 per cent). This is particularly true with younger women in the industry and those who are also caregivers. Over half (53 per cent) of younger generations are more likely to agree that their career growth or goals have been stunted than older generations (37 per cent). Nearly two-thirds (59 per cent) of women in technology who care for an adult and over half (52 per cent) of women with childcare responsibilities agree with the sentiment.
“Up to this point, Canadian technology companies have done a respectable job supporting women during the pandemic, but we need to do more,” says Gina Izumi, Senior Vice President of Sales, SAP Canada. “While the Canadian technology industry has ‘patched the problem’ of the pandemic in the short term, the underlying issue remains that nearly half the women working in tech feel like their employers don’t want to hire women, which surprised me. Tackling these challenges requires both accountability and transparency, and it’s incumbent upon us as an industry to ensure opportunities are accessible to everyone. We need to figure out how to truly become a more welcoming and inclusive space.”
The survey identifies other factors that technology companies need to address during and post-pandemic:
- As a result of the pandemic, women in technology are more likely to feel unmotivated in their careers (45 per cent vs. 39 per cent in non-technology roles), feel stifled in their career growth or goals (43 per cent vs. 33 per cent in non-technology roles), and overall have felt their careers have been impacted negatively (41 per cent vs. 29 per cent in non-technology roles).
- The majority of women in technology indicate it is important that their employer offers career growth workshops or programs (78 per cent vs. 68 per cent in non-technology roles) and increase informal meetings to foster employee engagement (74 per cent vs. 65 per cent in non-technology roles).While companies are still facing the challenges of the pandemic, the technology industry needs to focus on both recovery efforts and continuing to support women as future leaders.
“For all companies working in the Canadian tech sector, an inclusive culture needs to become a core company value and a strategic priority,” continues Izumi. “Like many Canadian tech companies, we at SAP Canada are still on this journey. We’re committed to creating a diverse team that makes us more effective in addressing the needs of our customers and partners, ultimately fostering innovation and growth.”
True Global Intelligence fielded an online survey on behalf of SAP Canada of 592 Canadian women who are professionals in technology and non-technology fields. The survey was fielded online from February 18 to March 2, 2021. Women in technology were identified as employed in a technology role or technology company.