Canadian women in tech worry about career prospects amid pandemic: survey

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TORONTO — During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more Canadian women working in technology agree that they have a good work-life balance and feel supported by their company, compared to Canadian women working outside of technology. However, they are more likely to report feeling like their career growth and goals have been stunted, and 44% of respondents agree that the pandemic notwithstanding, technology companies do not really want to hire women.

The survey shows that technology companies have done a good job helping women manage the new way of work: Women in technology are more likely to agree they feel supported by their company (63% vs. 51% in non-technology roles), have a good work-life balance (57% vs. 50%in non-technology roles) and feel more productive (54% vs. 33% in non-technology roles).

However, due to the pandemic, nearly half (48%) of women in technology agree that their career growth or goals have been stunted, higher than those not in the technology sector (31%). This is particularly true with younger women in the industry and those who are also caregivers. Over half (53%) of younger generations are more likely to agree that their career growth or goals have been stunted than older generations (37%). Nearly two-thirds (59%) of women in technology who care for an adult and over half (52%) of women with childcare responsibilities agree with the sentiment.

“Up to this point, Canadian technology companies have done a respectable job supporting women during the pandemic, but we need to do more,” said Gina Izumi, Senior Vice President of Sales, SAP Canada, in a prepared statement. “While the Canadian technology industry has ‘patched the problem’ of the pandemic in the short term, the underlying issue remains that nearly half the women working in tech feel like their employers don’t want to hire women, which surprised me. Tackling these challenges requires both accountability and transparency, and it’s incumbent upon us as an industry to ensure opportunities are accessible to everyone. We need to figure out how to truly become a more welcoming and inclusive space.”