Organisers of “the world’s largest tech event” Web Summit, according to the Financial Times, revealed today the results of a poll they carried out by a pool of its female speakers, investors, founders, attendees, and community members from over 60 countries to gauge their perspectives on the current state of women in tech.
Many of those surveyed feel the tech industry has become more balanced over the past 12 months. 42% believe that the gender ratio in the tech industry has become more balanced over the last 12 months, followed closely by 32% who are unsure if this is the case. This has increased from last year’s poll where only 34% of respondents believed that things have become more balanced.
When it comes to pay, 46% feel they are paid on par with their male colleagues, but 32% feel they are not. Again displaying a yearly improvement, in last year’s survey only 37% believed they were paid fairly in comparison to their male counterparts.
“People all around the world are beginning to fight more and more against the gender gap, so now is the time to aim for higher roads.” said one respondent.
The poll found that the majority of women feel respected, confident, and empowered within their roles. 78% of respondents felt respected by their peers in their roles and 74% of those polled felt empowered to pursue leadership positions. Nonetheless, 40% of respondents agreed with the statement “Many women are offered leadership roles just to fill quotas” and 29% responded that they neither agreed or disagreed.
“It’s how gender roles work. I don’t expect, nor ask to be treated the same. My femininity is part of me. All I ask for is respect and trust in what I do, the rest is subjective,” said one respondent. “My company often prefers to promote men to leadership positions,” said another attendee.
50% of respondents believe that society as a whole needs to change when it comes to more equality in the tech industry, but governments still have a lot to do. 47% of respondents say that their government does not do enough for gender equality and 35% are unsure. “I’m not sure it’s the government, but we should be better at cheering for women, to talk about their careers, and make it easier for men to take care of the family,” said one respondent. “While government initiatives are commendable, I believe that the first step must always come from education and people themselves,” said another.
Nida Shah, COO of Web Summit said, “At Web Summit, our commitment to change, with regards to closing the gender gap within tech, has always been a priority for us. We are proud that this year our attendee base is now 46.3% female. We think it’s important to hear what the industry can continue to do to improve gender equality in the tech sphere. The results today show that things are improving when it comes to women in tech, but more can always be done.”