New data from the Pew Research Center suggests many women view gender discrimination as a major problem in the technology industry.
Some 44 percent of women told Pew that it was a “major” issue, versus 29 percent of men. Another 36 percent of women said it was a “minor problem,” compared to 37 percent of men.
As Pew notes, the tech industry is already wrestling with issues related to diversity and underrepresentation. “Critics of Silicon Valley have cited high-profile cases as evidence that the industry has fostered a hostile workplace culture,” read its note accompanying the data. “For their part, tech companies point to their commitment to increasing workforce diversity, even as some employees claim the industry is increasingly hostile to white males.”
According to the survey, nearly half of women under 50 thought that gender discrimination was a huge problem in tech, versus 39 percent of women 50 or older. “Women who work in computer jobs are also more likely than men in these jobs to consider gender discrimination a major problem in the tech industry (43 percent to 31 percent),” Pew added. “About twice as many men (32 percent) as women (15 percent) who work in these jobs say gender discrimination is not a problem in the industry.”
Earlier this month, an extensive survey by Dice and Bustle found that women regard pay inequality within the tech industry as a pervasive issue. Some 82 percent of surveyed women said there was a “wage gap,” and another 60 percent indicated they were treated differently than their male colleagues. Moreover, the belief in a gap increased with age: only 16 percent of Generation X women don’t think it exists, versus a full quarter of their Millennial counterparts.
Several tech firms have attempted to adjust their respective employee pools to include more underrepresented groups. As demonstrated by their annual diversity reports, however, progress is often incremental. Representatives of these companies often blame the country’s educational pipeline for a lack of suitable candidates.