Surprised? Or, Not So Much?

Survey of 500 Women Reveal the Challenges They Face —

While “being taken seriously due to gender perception” remains the biggest challenge women in tech face, there has been a 14.6% decrease in women experiencing this issue (from 2018 to 2019). Has it changed in 2020? Maybe you can answer that better than a survey.

That said, over the years, people have begun to recognise the issues regarding gender differences in certain sectors and have started to make an effort towards diminishing it. Women with a passion for technology, who have decided to take a leap of faith in order to make it in a still male dominated world, spoke up about their experiences and the security experts at Specops Software were interested in hearing what they had to say.

In the Women in Tech Survey Report 2019 by Ivanti, women talk about their experiences in the tech industry. Analysing the report, Specops Software sought to highlight not only what attracted women to this industry in the first place, but how the industry has changed for them in the past year. (See Figure 1.)

What is your biggest challenge as a woman in tech

Figure 1.

Here are a few key takeaways from the survey results:

  • Women notice a decrease in gender-related challenges from the previous year.
  • Women have noticed that, in the majority of situations, the industry has changed for the better. Although “being taken seriously due to gender perception” remains the biggest challenge women have to face in tech, there has been a 14.6% decrease in women experiencing this issue (in 2018, 63% of women stated this as an issue, in 2019 53.8% of women stated this is an issue.)
  • There is only one issue that noticed an increase from 2018 to 2019 and that is “the glass ceiling”. Unfortunately, 27.1% more women feel there is a barrier which stops them progressing.
  • 27.1% of women in tech said the “glass ceiling” is worse now than ever before.

Women have spoken up about what they would like a new role to offer them and their requests are far from outlandish. In fact, what women want most is “equal pay and benefits” (63.7%). (See Figure 2.)

What would attract you most to a new role

Figure 2.

“Clear and well documented progression opportunities” is next on the list of rights women in tech would like to enforce in their workplace. This comes as no surprise, as mentioned before, many are still experiencing issues with the glass ceiling.

Abby Chinery, creative director of Reboot Digital Marketing Agency, offers this advice to young women starting out in tech: “Women are long time sufferers of ‘imposter syndrome’, especially in fields dominated by men. However, women around the world have been able to bring a new perspective to the tech industry, and their skills and experience are just as valuable when they feel comfortable enough to impose them. Studies like this can help bring confidence to women who do not feel their opinion matters to the tech industry.”

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The key is to remember, young women starting their careers in technology have already overcome numerous hurdles, stereotypes, and generalizations. My advice is to continue being true to yourself. You don’t need to change to be accepted — and you’ll earn respect for your accomplishments.



About Lori Osterholm

Lori Österholm is CTO at Specops Software. Lori joined Specops in 2018 as the Chief Technology Officer. She is an experienced leader of software development teams and development processes within Identity and Access Management. She is passionate about developing security software to solve customer’s problems. Lori is an avid horseback rider and trains dressage in her free time. Specops Software was founded in 2001, and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with additional offices in the US, Canada, and the UK. For more information, please visit