- Most women in the technology industry surveyed earlier this year by learning provider Skillsoft said that opportunities for professional development and training benefits were important to them, but fewer than half said their employers offered such benefits.
- Skillsoft said its findings represented a "misalignment" between female tech employees and their employers in terms of workplace benefits. Additionally, when asked about the top challenges women in tech faced while pursuing their careers, 32% of those surveyed cited a lack of training.
- Respondents largely said that certifications helped them to advance their careers; 52% said certifications helped them gain more responsibility, while 34% said they earned higher salaries and 32% said they received promotions after earning a certification.
Tech employers may already be aware of career development's importance to their employees, given previous research on the topic. For example, an October report by online training platform TalentLMS found that 72% of tech workers cited limited career progression and a lack of learning opportunities in explaining why they considered leaving their jobs.
Skillsoft's research also is relevant given the increased participation women have had within learning programs. Education website Coursera said in a September report that in 2021, 37% of entry-level professional certificate enrollments were from women. That figure had increased from 25% in 2019, the company noted. It found that women accounted for 37% of enrollments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses, compared to a 31% share in 2019.
Beyond providing access to learning content and professional development platforms, technology firms may pursue avenues such as mentorship programs in order to increase the presence of women in leadership roles. Observers have previously suggested formats such as informal pairing, cross-functional programs and participation in volunteer programs that focus on encouraging young women to pursue STEM careers.
Of course, employers also may need to address cultural issues present in their work sites that deter women and other underrepresented groups from joining or staying.
A survey earlier this year by WILEY found that half of young tech workers said they left or felt like leaving their jobs because of company cultures that made them feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, and that share jumped to 57% for respondents who were women of color. Meanwhile, Skillsoft's survey found that 38% of respondents listed a lack of pay equity as their biggest challenge, while 36% cited issues with work-life balance.