4 Min Read • November 27, 2023

Women in Technology: Breaking the Glass Ceiling


Technology is one of the most dynamic and influential sectors of our economy, shaping our lives and changing society in profound ways. Unfortunately, it's been a male-dominated space since the dawn of time. Women are still underrepresented and face many barriers in this field, despite their potential and contributions. Let's discuss the gender gap, how to close it, and the benefits of having more women in tech.

Understanding the Gender Gap

To address the challenges women face in the tech industry, it's essential to understand the root of the problem—the gender gap. Women have historically been underrepresented in tech roles, contributing to a significant imbalance in the workforce.

Women want to be a part of the workforce, as reflected in their national labor force participation rate of 56.8% in 2022. However, women continue to face challenges when attempting to get started in the tech industry, which reduces the number of women in technology from the get go.

Women face more job challenges and must work harder to prove themselves. A study by Yale has shown women are constantly judged as having less potential than their male counterparts, making them 14% less likely to be promoted each year. 

The tech sphere is always described as having a strong "bro culture." A report by Trust Radius showed that 72% of women are outnumbered by males by 2:1 in business meetings, illustrating the pervasiveness of gender prejudice; meanwhile 26% report a 5:1 male-to-female ratio.

Women also face more barriers to promotion and career growth, making it more difficult for women to achieve leadership positions. A 2022 report from McKinsey found that only 86 women are promoted to manager for every 100 men across every industry, but when isolated for tech, that number drops to 52 women for every 100 men.

The Power of Women in the Industry

Now that we’ve looked at the stats and understand the gender gap, it’s time to dive in on why this is an important issue. The advantages of bringing more women to technology are clear. The tech industry benefits immensely from the power and presence of women. Research has shown that diverse teams, which include women, are more innovative, productive, and capable of solving complex problems. Women bring unique perspectives and skills to the table, things like communication, coaching, project management, analytics, problem-solving, and leadership, helping companies thrive in a competitive landscape.

Overall, companies that receive higher scores in gender diversity on executive teams are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability. Women with tech skills also bring new and fresh ideas to the table that can help design more balanced products that cater to a wider audience.

Challenges Women Face

So, if having women with successful careers is a win-win situation for everyone, what are the challenges they face that are making it hard for them to achieve that? There are many factors that contribute to the low participation and retention of women in technology. Some of these include:
-        Lack of role models and mentors: Women often lack exposure to successful female role models and mentors who can inspire them to pursue a career in tech or support them along their journey.
-        Stereotypes and biases: Women often face stereotypes and biases that question their abilities, skills and interests in technology.
-        Hostile work environment: Women may encounter harassment, discrimination or isolation at work due to their gender or race.
-        Lack of opportunities: Women may have fewer opportunities for career advancement or professional development due to systemic barriers such as unequal pay, limited access to funding or resources or lack of recognition for their achievements.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Breaking the glass ceiling in the tech industry is no small feat, but women continue to rise to the occasion. Despite the challenges, there are a number of women who have broken through the glass ceiling and advanced to leadership positions in the tech industry.

The number of women hired for leadership positions globally rose from 33.3 percent in 2016 to 36.9 percent in 2022. While the difference might seem small, this shows that women have been reaching the highest levels of tech and other industries in spite of gender biases, unfair expectations and limited company support.

At SkillStorm we believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to achieve the successful tech career they dream of, no matter their gender or background. That is why we have designed programs to make sure that everyone can accelerate their tech career. Do you want to keep up to date with resources, job opportunities and more? Subscribe to our Women In Tech Newsletter.


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