Women in tech: STEM jobs attract less women, says Belong

Belong found that the overall representation of women was 34%. This reinforces the assumption that STEM jobs attract less women.

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Bangalore based data-driven talent acquisition firm, Belong said that it has looked at all the tech companies in India and found that for every female engineer, there were three male engineers, leading to the fact that the Indian industry has just 26% women in engineering roles. Bench-marking this against the average number of women (irrespective of the function) in tech companies, Belong found that the overall representation of women was 34%. This reinforces the assumption that jobs attract less women.

“We analysed the career trajectories of techies who moved into managerial positions and data says men on an average transition to managerial positions after 6+ years of experience while women on an average transition to these roles after 8+ years of experience,” said Belong. Company said that it looked at a sample set of women graduating from Tier 1 universities from 2005-2009 and found that as many as 45% of them move out of core engineering roles after close to 8 years. After quitting engineering, these women mostly move to marketing, product management or consulting.

Among the tech talent in India, there are more women in software testing roles (a less sought after skill) compared to core programming roles. This is the case even though the absolute number of jobs in software testing are significantly less than programming. Belong found that for every 100 testing jobs, there were 34 women compared to 66 men. When it came to hardcore programming roles, the ratio changed to 25 : 75.

Company said that upon analysing the career trajectories of women to see how they progress in their careers over the years, it found that if 29% women start working in a given year, the percentage drops to a dismal 7% after 12 years. The biggest drop-off in pure numbers is after the first five years. One obvious reason for this could be that women often take a break to start a family around this time in their lives, and many do not return to the workforce. Many IT stalwarts have been taking initiatives to ‘bring back’ these women.

Belong is a Bangalore based talent acquisition firm. It is uses Big Data and Analytics for the process of recruitment and talent acquisition across industries and organisations.

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