This Week in Numbers: Discrimination in the Tech Industry
Regardless of their sex, one in three people would recommend an employer even if they had seen discrimination while working there. That is one takeaway from the Dice Diversity and Inclusion Report 2018. Based on a survey of US and UK tech professionals using Dice or eFinancialCareers, the report looked at discrimination based on gender, age and politics.
The study found that 85 percent of women believe gender discrimination exists in the tech industry while only 62 percent of men feel likewise. In other words, twice as many men don’t see sexism. The results mirror many other studies that show men are much less likely to see sexism as a problem. This dynamic also plays out in regards to racism, with black and brown people much more likely to be concerned. Which leads us to ask, why wasn’t discrimination based on ethnicity discussed? The omission is striking!
Likely because of personal experiences with gender discrimination, only 59 percent of women are willing to recommend their employer as a place to work, while 79 percent of men would do so. Digging deeper into the subject, many men would change their minds if they thought the employer was allowing discrimination to continue. In fact, almost the same percentage of women and men (33 percent and 44 percent respectively) would recommend their employer even if they have seen discrimination in that workplace. Stated another way, about a third of the tech community is willing to accept discrimination as a fact of life.
According to the Dice survey, more tech professionals experienced or witnessed discrimination due to age compared to gender, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. Although we know that many younger professionals participated in the survey, the exact proportion is unknown. If the sample over-represented older professionals, then ageism may not be as a significant problem as gender discrimination. Just don’t tell that to people over 40 — well over half of this group are concerned that their age is a barrier to them getting a new job. In fact, among those 55 or older, 88 percent are worried that their age can hurt their continuing career.