Women in IT: Challenges and Opportunities of the Digital Age

The digital age has created new opportunities for everyone, including women, but the gender gap in IT still exists.


March 1, 2023

9 minutes read

Women in IT

Companies can create a more supportive and inclusive environment for women in IT, which can help attract and retain female talent and contribute to a more diverse and innovative workforce.

The digital age presents various opportunities for everyone. Never before had there been a greater ability to access information and resources, and to connect with people all around the world.

Furthermore, the digital age has also created new jobs, and facilitated access to new career opportunities, through networking and collaboration opportunities. Notwithstanding, digital job roles still carry challenges for many people, and the digital gender gap is still felt by many women in the IT field.

Discrimination and bias in the workplace have been largely discussed challenges in the digital landscape, but it is important to bear in mind that this disparity begins in education. Inequality in the workplace begins with disparities in the classroom. Gender stereotyping is still a real problem in education, shown mostly in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), and studies show that this is directly related to career choice, as it affects choosing subjects in higher and secondary education.

Knowing that from the get-go women are far less likely to begin a career in IT, what can we do to eliminate the challenges faced by women in IT? What is the issue for women to not chose this career path? How do women impact tech teams and what advantages does a gender diverse tech team bring to the table?

What are the most pressing challenges faced by women in IT today?

The data shared by The World Bank Stated that as of 2022 women made-up 28% of the tech industry workforce, while only 15% of engineering jobs are held by women, meaning the STEM fields are the ones where women are most underrepresented. Furthermore, in the infamous tech layoffs that occurred in 2022, 69.2% of laid off staff was composed by women, as stated by WomenTech Network.

These figures represent the gender bias and discrimination felt in the information technology sector and the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering sectors. Societally, women are still expected to carry on more family responsibilities, which in the fast-paced, always moving technological landscape can still be seen as a handicap to a job well-done. This discrimination, even if coming from an unconscious bias, not only influences hiring managers to hire a more masculine workforce, but also puts women at a higher risk for career stagnation.

The change in job market depends on companies, but these organisations can also have a major influence in the source of the gender gap in STEM – education.

How can companies better support women in IT?

Companies can create a more supportive and inclusive environment for women in IT, which can help attract and retain female talent and contribute to a more diverse and innovative workforce.

Address gender bias and discrimination:

Companies can implement policies and training programs to prevent gender bias and discrimination in the workplace. Unconscious bias training for hiring manager, and diversity and inclusion initiatives are crucial for promoting a more inclusive work culture.

 Increase representation:

Companies can work on increasing representation of women in IT by setting hiring goals, actively recruiting women for open positions, and creating programs to support the retention and advancement of female employees.

Provide mentorship and sponsorship:

Companies can provide mentorship and sponsorship programs to help women in IT develop their skills, navigate their careers, and build networks.

Offer flexible work opportunities:

Remote work and/or flexible schedules can be valuable tools to help employees balance work and personal responsibilities.

Provide professional development opportunities:

Technical training, leadership development programs, and opportunities to attend industry events, represent tools that companies can provide their employees to help with training and development opportunities.

Offer competitive pay and benefits:

Companies can ensure that women in STEM areas are paid fairly and offered competitive benefit packages, similarly to their male colleagues, such as maternity and paternity leave, to help support work-life balance.

 Highlight opportunities for creativity and innovation:

Women may be drawn to IT roles that offer opportunities for creativity and innovation. Companies can highlight the opportunities for problem-solving and innovation that come with IT roles, and emphasise the importance of diverse perspectives in the development of new ideas.

Create a supportive culture:

Diversity, inclusion, and work-life balance are values that companies should cherish. Recognising contributions of female employees, providing them with opportunities for employee feedback and input, and fostering a collaborative and supportive work environment.

What are the most effective strategies for attracting more women to IT roles?

Representation matters, and companies have an important role in allowing this representation to happen. The first step for young girls to see themselves represented in the IT workforce is to see women play the roles they one day aspire to have. But what can companies do to target women when recruiting?

Reduce gender bias and stereotypes:

Companies can actively work to counteract gender stereotypes and biases that may discourage women from pursuing careers in IT. Promoting positive images of women in IT, emphasising the importance of diversity in the workplace, and creating a welcoming an inclusive culture.

Expand recruitment efforts:

Companies can expand their recruiting efforts to reach more women by partnering with organisations that focus on promoting women in STEM, attending career fairs and events that target women, and creating targeted job ads and social media campaigns, with the help of innovative recruitment techniques.

Highlight the impact of IT roles:

Companies can emphasise the important role that IT plays in an organisation and in society as a whole. By showcasing the impact of IT in social advancements, companies can attract women who are interested in making a difference with their work.

Provide clear career paths:

Providing clear career paths and opportunities for growth and advancement can help women see a future in IT roles. Companies can create transparent career paths and provide opportunities for ongoing learning and development.

Offer a supportive onboarding process:

A supportive onboarding process that helps new hires feel welcome and supported can be particularly important for women who may feel isolated in male-dominated IT departments. Providing mentorship and support during the onboarding process can help women feel more connected to their team and more confident in their ability to succeed in their new role.

What is the impact of diversity in IT roles for companies?

We have already established that diversity in IT roles can help companies become more innovative and it can help companies cultivate a more inclusive work culture.

But aside from this, Finance Online gives us some interesting data on companies with diverse IT teams, such as: gender diverse teams do 73% better at making business decisions, more gender diverse companies have 25% more likelihood of above-average profitability, additionally 41 of the Fortune 500 companies count on female CEOs.

Having this data in mind we can conclude that diverse STEM teams provide improved innovation and problem solving, being that the teams count on a bigger variety of perspectives and experiences. Deriving from this, we can count on better decision making, supported by the wide range of points of view.

When employees feel heard and included, there is a higher rate of retention and engagement, since people are more committed to their work. Following this, prioritising diversity and inclusion can enhance brand reputation and appeal to customers who value diversity and social responsibility.



The digital age has created new opportunities for everyone, including women, but the gender gap in IT still exists.

Inequality in the workplace begins with disparities in the classroom, as gender stereotyping affects women’s career choices in STEM subjects.

The underrepresentation of women in IT and engineering sectors can be attributed to gender bias, discrimination, and societal expectations.

Companies can create a more supportive and inclusive environment for women in IT by addressing gender bias, increasing representation, providing mentorship, offering flexible work opportunities, and professional development opportunities.

To attract more women to IT roles, companies can address gender bias and stereotypes, expand recruitment efforts, highlight the impact of IT roles, provide clear career paths, and offer a supportive onboarding process.

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