Towards the end of last year, we partnered with Kaspersky to collaborate on their 2021 Women in Tech Report. This report features two of our fantastic Ada's List members - Dr. Patricia Gestoso and Dr. Ronda Železný-Green.
Over the last 2 years, Kaspersky have carried out research among women working in IT and technology, across Europe, North America, APAC and Latin America. In this report, Kaspersky sought to find out how women in the IT industry feel two years on from the initial research, and what has changed over this period.
A big thank you to our wonderful Ada's List members Dr. Ronda Železný-Green and Dr. Patricia Gestoso who worked very hard with us on this collaboration.
Dr. Ronda Železný-Green is a long time Ada's List member and is Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital. Ronda has also featured in one of our panel events at our Annual Ada's List Conf 2020.
Dr. Patricia Gestoso is also a long time member of Ada's List and is Head of Scientific Customer Support at BIOVIA and 2020 Women in Software Changemakers Winner. Patricia was also a speaker at our Annual 2020 Ada's List Conf.
The world that we are now living in looks pretty different compared to back in 2018 when Kaspersky started on this research -
"The past two years has seen positive steps forward across many of these parameters, helped in part by a timely nudge from the pandemic and its push towards remote working."
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused seismic changes to how and where people work, with 95% of women working in technology globally having worked at home at least part-time since March 2020.”
The latest research from the Kaspersky report suggests that progress has been made in the last two years in terms of companies trying to give both men and women equal opportunities in IT roles. 56% of woman who responded to the Kaspersky study said they felt that their organisation has improved in terms of gender equality over the last two years.
However, the report also states that 44% of women still believe that men progress faster than them in their organisation. Ada's List member, Dr. Ronda Železný-Green, Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, says -
“One of the main reasons we are not realising a faster pace of change in this area is because too much of the activity surrounding gender equality in IT focuses on one-off gimmicks and bandaid solutions that can be spotlighted in the press , instead of focusing attention on female employees and the actions that will truly make a sustained difference in their professional lives."
In the last 12 months, COVID has created a new way of life for all of us, with lots of people now working from home for at least some of the time. The report states that on one hand, woman feel empowered by the opportunity of working from home as it allows for positive steps in gender equality. However, 40% of women said that working from home held them back from pursuing a change in career due to family or home pressures.
Our Ada's List member, Dr Patricia Gestoso - Head of Scientific Customer Support at BIOVIA and 2020 Women in Software Changemakers Winner - shared some really interesting insights -
“…the effect of the pandemic broadly differed for women. Some appreciated the greater flexibility and lack of commute from working at home, whilst others shared that they were on the verge of burnout"
Although perhaps hard to imagine right now, there will come a point in the future where COVID loosens its grip and businesses will be faced with the decision of how they wish to move forward in terms of remote / flexible working options. The pandemic has made working from home / flexible working the default - and it will be interesting to see how IT companies and employers progress with these options as time goes on.
Dr. Patricia Gestoso says -
“The pandemic can also be a catalyst for a deep review of tech work places, to drive diversity and inclusion in tech. It has a history of adhering to very traditional work practices – full time, office-based jobs consisting in work weeks of 40+ hours. Now that we have moved to remote and hybrid workplaces, it will be interesting to see if other deep-rooted beliefs may be questioned as well.”
And a final, concluding word from Dr. Ronda Železný-Green -
“If we want to ensure that the gains made for women’s presence and progression in this sector are not eroded, it is important that employers reimagine the workplace and let go of outmoded ways of defining who is contributing to advancing a company and how they are realising those achievements.
The onus is now on IT and technology employers, not their female employees.”
Thanks again to our wonderful Ada's List members Dr. Ronda Železný-Green and Dr. Patricia Gestoso for being part of this partnership. We hope you will support them by reading the full report.
Let us know what you think, and if you'd like to be featured in any of our collaborations with our Ada's List partners, please do reach out and let us know that you're interested. Our aim is to bring our members more opportunities like this going forward.
And of course, a huge thank you to our partners at Kaspersky. You can read more about Kaspersky and their work here.