Tech bros still cling to sexist stereotypes

Female developer designing an iOS app on a MacBook
(Image credit: Apple)

New research has revealed a gender gap remains unfortunately prominent in the tech industry, as one in five men believe women are less suited to tech roles.

The eight-month study from Virgin Media O2 and gender equality charity Fawcett Society exposed a “widespread toxic ‘tech bro’ culture” which sees almost three-quarters (72%) of women experiencing some form of sexism in their roles.

The report also details the additional levels of exclusion faced by Black and minoritized women, with almost three-quarters experiencing racism at work on top of discrimination based on their gender.

More needs to be done to make tech an equality-first industry

The challenges come from all angles, beginning with the recruitment process. Fawcett Society says that employers should advertise a salary, share information relating to flexible work options and parental leave, and use diverse interviewing panels to increase fairness. The charity also calls on governments to ban questions about previous jobs’ salaries, among other things.

Other suggestions relating to retention include having a clear reporting mechanism for grievances and exit interviews, and promoting a variety of events and opportunities to ensure that all workers can take part equally.

Currently, more than two in five consider leaving their role at least weekly, and around a third respectively expressed concerns about a lack of flexible work and part-time work.

Fawcett Society CEO Jemima Olchawski said: “It’s unacceptable that so many women are being locked out of tech because damaging and plain wrong sexist ideas are thriving in a predominantly male workforce.”

Olchawski added: “It makes no sense that in the midst of a skills shortage so many capable and talented women are either locked out of the sector or choosing to leave. All of this means tech firms are missing out on a wealth of talent and both women and our economy are being held back.” 

More from TechRadar Pro

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!