An overwhelming number of men working in the tech industry don’t believe there is gender inequality in the workplace. Women disagree.
Based on more than 140,000 survey responses, the crowd-sourced salary database PayScale found that men and women working in tech have vastly different outlooks on gender equality in the workplace. Only 13 percent of men believe gender bias exists in most tech companies, and just 5 percent believe their company has a gender discrimination problem.
“If this data highlights anything, it is that men need to step up to the plate,” said Matt Wallaert, behavioral scientist and founder of GetRaised.com, a web service that helps employees determine whether they are underpaid, in a statement releasing the results. “Only 25 percent believe [gender bias] is a problem in their workplace? That’s a devastating finding.”
Additionally, 80 percent of male tech workers believe their current employer has equal opportunity for both genders, while at nearly half that rate, only 44 percent of women agree their jobs give them the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
Those numbers only improve slightly overall for men when evaluating gender equality in the industry as a whole. Two-thirds of men believe most tech company’s provide an equal opportunity for women, and 21 percent are indifferent on the issue.
Women, however, are even less confident in the industry’s overall practice of gender equality compared with their own employers: Only 30 percent agree that most tech company’s have equal opportunities for men and women.
The survey, which will be presented at the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference this weekend, illustrates a chasm in perception of gender bias among tech workers. The results echoed those found in a similar study that focused on sexual harassment in the tech industry.
Earlier this year, two former female tech executives released the sexual harassment report “Elephant in the Valley,” which found that 60 percent of women reported unwanted sexual advances — the majority of which were repeated and came from a superior. Men were reportedly unaware of the issues their female coworkers faced.
Tech companies have been working to improve their diversity by hiring more women executives, increasing outreach efforts, and changing internal policies. The gender pay gap in science and tech tends to be much smaller than it is in other industries — women make about 90 percent as much as men in similar roles — but there is a significant position gap. Women hold about one in 10 leadership and executive roles in Silicon Valley, which leads to fewer opportunities to advance and lowers earning potential.