Women in Tech 2021: A Big Survey about Gender Inequality in the IT Field
In anticipation of the International Women’s Day Mobilunity team conducted a survey among our staff women working in tech roles and our clients represented with women, who are no doubt female-leaders in their roles. We are discussing how the situation with gender equality looks like in the IT sector in different counties, how it may change and give some tips to all females, who are considering changing their career path to IT.
We also analyzed the dynamics of gender gap in our dedicated teams and were positively impressed that we are on the right track of closing it. 2021 showed the best picture – 10.22% of all employees working at Dedicated Team model (we didn’t account our Staff Services, Marketing and BizDev teams, taking purely employees working for other clients) were females.
Let’s get acquainted with our ladies and see how they came to IT in the first place.
Please shortly describe your career path in the tech industry. How did you get involved in IT?
🇺🇦 Irina, Software Engineer: “I got tired of my main accounting job, some changes happened in my personal life at the same time and I stumbled upon wonderful courses. And within a year I changed my job and started working in IT.”
🇺🇦 Hanna, Manual QA Engineer: “A lot of my friends-girls were changing their profession and I got interested too, after hearing their stories.”
🇨🇭 Elisabeth, Project Manager: “My path started with a geography study with main focus on programming, which leaded me to an tech service company. I could start in the company because I had the combination of several languages spoken plus the technical (base) knowledge.”
🇺🇦 Viktoriia, SFCC Front-End Developer at a UK project, with Mobilunity since 2019: “I studied at the university (the 5th year) and decided that it would not hurt to start my professional career. Passed IT courses, and got very upset and angry. I started going to the interviews and after one of them I received an offer. Soon it will be already 5 years since I have been working in this field. There were no other non-IT jobs.”
🇺🇦 Anastasiia, Front-End Developer at a US project, with Mobilunity since 2021: “It probably all started with the Computer Science lessons at school 😂 Then I studied Software Engineering at the university, started working in parallel and here I am)”
🇺🇦 Olga, QA Engineer at a Swiss project, with Mobilunity since 2021: “My IT Path started unexpectedly ;) A couple of years ago I searched for a job and a friend of mine advised me to send a resume to the IT company, where she worked. I have sent and after 2 interviews I received an offer. After 10 months of work I quitted because of a misunderstanding with my boss. I couldn’t find a job in IT, so I worked as a Photoshop Designer and a bit as a freelance Web Designer. Then I received an offer from one IT company. I was working there for nearly 4 years, and got positions as Manual, Automation and Team Lead / Test Manager. At the next company I worked as a Manual Tester/Manager, but it was not a loaded job. Then Mobilunity found me ;)”
🇨🇭 Marina, Project Manager / Business Analyst at a Swiss company, Mobilunity’s client since 2018: “I worked for an insurance broker and got the responsibility to give first level support to the customer portal. Besides my main job, I started studying digital business management and switched to the internal IT team. There I got the responsibility to start business specifications for the new internal CRM system. After that I started helping testing and maintaining the customer platform with the development team (I quitted my study because I recognized the opportunity of the customer platform) and started working full-time to write further business specifications for further functions and maintain the customer platform, which should be connected to the new CRM system. Now I’m working as a Project Manager and Business Analyst for the customer portal.”
🇺🇦 Kateryna, Full-Stack Designer at a Danish project, with Mobilunity since 2018: “My journey began with design. But design alone could not satisfy my desire to develop not only in art, but also in more precise sciences) So I gradually entered the IT field.”
🇺🇦 Yelyzaveta, Full-Stack Developer at a German project, with Mobilunity since 2020: “I had a programming course at the university, which interested me a lot. In parallel with my studies, I started learning the basics of programming on my own and also looking for an opportunity from someone to learn it. After a couple of months of searching, I was found by a company, which offered free education and onboarding to IT. It was a small startup that was looking for students to train them for their project. This company gave me a lot: from strong and confident development skills to experience in communication with employees in the work environment, stress resilience and the desire to grow further.”
🇺🇦 Dariia, IT Sourcing Specialist at a Swiss project, with Mobilunity since 2020: “I got the sourcing/recruiting job in IT”
🇨🇦 Jenna, VC of Product Development at a Canadian company, Mobilunity’s client since 2017: “I began my career in IT in University while studying Industrial Engineering. My first job was at BlackBerry where I held a number of project and management roles across Manufacturing and Supply Chain. I took a pivot into the Software Development world when I moved to New Zealand from Canada and joined the Digital team at the Bank of New Zealand. It was here I was exposed to Agile Product Management and ignited my love for this field, which brought me to my current company, ICUC, where I started as a Product Manager and now lead the development, product and support team as the VP, Product Development.”
🇺🇦 Anastasiia, QA Engineer: “I’ve been working as QA Software Engineer for 6 years. It was not my first career choice as I had been working in another area (basing on my humanitarian education). But 6 years ago I decided to try something brand new for me and I started to attend QA courses and got the certificate. I’ve never had any regret that I decided to build my career in IT.”
🇺🇦 Polina, Back-End Developer: “I was young and needed the money.”
🇺🇦 Daryna, Data Analyst at a US project, with Mobilunity since 2020: “I made a decision, engaged myself in studying the topic myself and changed the job.”
How would you describe the situation of gender equality in the tech industry in your country?
😥 Irina, Software Engineer: “The same problems as in other industries. The third or fourth question in the interview is a personal question about “when to give birth” and “married”. The situation is better in big cities than in smaller towns. I think there is a bias in the selection of candidates at the stage before the interview.”
🙂 Hanna, Manual QA Engineer: “Every day new and new girls are coming to IT.”
😉 Viktoriia, SFCC Front-End Developer: “If you want the job, you’ll get it. There is no shame because of gender. So to speak, experience is wisdom.”
😊 Anastasiia, Front-End Developer: “Based on my experience, there are still more males among developers than females. But I notice that this ratio is changing and there are more girls lately. I have never had any problems, no one infringed on my rights and, on the contrary, the team always supported me :) “
🤩 Olga, QA Engineer: “Statistics claims that there are fewer girls than boys in IT, but I haven’t ever experienced any inequality in IT ever (like higher salary for men, longer trial period for women or so.).”
😏 Kateryna, Full-Stack Designer: “Of course, men still prevail. But this is only for now))”
😄 Yelyzaveta, Full-Stack Developer: “If you are a good specialist in your field, then no inequality is felt. First of all, at the interview you are evaluated as a specialist, your working and human qualities and only then look at your gender) At least for my 4 years in web development, I have encountered only this attitude.”
😔 Dariia, IT Sourcing Specialist: “The situation in general is far from being equal, specifically, in terms of payment.”
😌 Elisabeth, Project Manager: “A big gap, only about 10-5% of women in f.e. computer science at university. It is changing very slowly, and hardly.”
☹️ Jenna, VC of Product Development: “In Canada, while nearly 40% of graduates from STEM programs are women, women represent only about 30% of the nation’s technology workflow and just 20% of C-Suite roles. That means there is plenty of room for improvement in gaining a better gender balance across the tech industry, especially at the executive level.”
😔 Kateryna, Front-End Developer: “Well, women are presented as about 8 percent of Ukrainian software developers according to DOU polls.”
😃 Anastasiia, QA Engineer: “I think it’s not that bad to be fair. Women are given the same opportunities as men here. The only requirement is knowledge and skills.”
😭 Polina, Back-End Developer: “It rather sucks.”
🤔 Daryna, Data Analyst: “There is a low percentage of women in technical specialties, which is remarkable for the relatively low level of gender discrimination in the industry in Ukraine.”
😃 Marina, Project Manager / Business Analyst: “I think in Switzerland we have a really well situation. In our team we have from the middle of next month five female members.”
Do you have any female tech leaders, who inspire you?
🇺🇦 Anastasiia, Front-End Developer: “Yes, this is Natalia Teplukhina. I met her at a JS conference and she impressed me with both her report and her achievements. “
🇺🇦 Olga, QA Engineer: “Maybe Ellina Azadova. I was on a couple of her webinars and on the workshop.”
🇺🇦 Dariia, IT Sourcing Specialist: “Parisa Tabriz”
🇨🇦 Jenna, VC of Product Development: “Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, is one of the most inspiring female leaders, who advocates for gender parity and diversity in tech, teaching girls bravery and empowering women all over the world.”
🇺🇦 Polina, Back-End Developer: “Margaret Hamilton”
What advice would you give to all women, who are hesitant whether to start a career in IT?
🇨🇭 Marina, Project Manager / Business Analyst: “Sometimes it is not easy, but everything is possible with diligence and determination.”
🇺🇦 Irina, Software Engineer: “Try to adequately assess whether you can achieve the desired professional level in this job. Self-confidence, ability to learn, perseverance are the qualities, which are needed for this job.”
🇺🇦 Kateryna, Full-Stack Designer: “Think carefully what specifically inspires you and start with that.”
🇺🇦 Hanna, Manual QA Engineer: “It’s very powerful field and very quickly growing. You can find so many new opportunities in IT 😀.”
🇺🇦 Viktoriia, SFCC Front-End Developer: “Don’t start if it’s not yours. I believe that this saying is applicable to any industry and occupation. If you have doubts or do not like something – why torture yourself? You need to do the things, which bring you pleasure. Only then you will succeed.”
🇺🇦 Dariia, IT Sourcing Specialist: “If you are hesitant whether to start a career in IT – just do it!”
🇺🇦 Anastasiia, Front-End Developer: “Dare! Just do it! You must try if you want) Especially when there is such a large community, where you will always be supported and helped by advice. “
🇺🇦 Olga, QA Engineer: “You will never know unless you try – so try and then decide if it’s ok for you or not.”
🇺🇦 Yelyzaveta, Full-Stack Developer: “You should not be afraid to try. If it is really yours – then you will stay in IT under any circumstances. What was shocking to me at first – the guys in the IT field will communicate with each other the same, regardless of whether the girl is sitting with them or not. Swearing, black humor, insults in the form of jokes – this may be a new normal) At least in the first company it was and it does not mean that people there work badly. Nobody cared that I was a girl. They demanded the same thing from me and communicated with me as with others. You need to be ready to work and study hard at first to make it easier later. And also for people, who go to IT because of money – the first time there will be no money, as well as time for yourself.”
🇨🇭 Elisabeth, Project Manager: “Just do it;)”
🇨🇦 Jenna, VC of Product Development: “I would tell them to be brave and jump in head first. There is an incredible number of Women in Tech communities you can tap into for support, inspiration and networking. We need more women in tech so we can influence the design of products and processes to be more inclusive.”
🇺🇦 Anastasiia, QA Engineer: “If you feel that you want to try, go for it. Don’t listen to others who might try to talk you of following your dream. Don’t be afraid of difficulties and making mistakes – it’s absolutely ok. Read a lot of professional literature and don’t avoid going to conferences – you’ll find lots of interesting new ideas there.”
🇺🇦 Polina, Back-End Developer: “There is always brain in use and you’ve got one.”
🇺🇦 Kateryna, Front-End Developer: “Just do what you want to do. Sometimes society can be wrong in its stereotypical opinion.”
🇺🇦 Daryna, Data Analyst: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – specifically in the context of the industry and the current realities in it. There is no road to the first step, you can not look for it or look out for it, standing still. I would be very grateful for this advice in due time :)”
What are your predictions how gender equity would change in IT companies in the future?
🇺🇦 Irina, Software Engineer: “I think the percentage of women in IT will increase, but it will never be 50/50. And it shouldn’t be. Women often do not choose these jobs because they are boring for them, and it is cool to make a conscious choice.”
🇺🇦 Hanna, Manual QA Engineer: “I think it can be 50/50 man/woman in the future. But let’s see 😄.”
🇺🇦 Viktoriia, SFCC Front-End Developer: “I don’t know, probably over time the number will grow. It’s hard to answer a question you don’t particularly worry about. In general, I believe that I am not a person of this story. Because in fact I don’t care how many women work in IT and how many men. The main thing is to work well.”
🇺🇦 Anastasiia, Front-End Developer: “Now more and more girls are in IT, I do not see harassment, so I hope in the future it will be 😌”
🇺🇦 Olga, QA Engineer: “I think maybe the number of women and men in IT will be almost the same (50/50). As for salary, it definitely should be equal for both genders (I do not know the current situation about this).”
🇺🇦 Kateryna, Full-Stack Designer: “The IT sector should not be a subject to any gender discrimination at all, like any other. The segment of women in IT will increase.”
🇺🇦 Yelyzaveta, Full-Stack Developer: “I hope it will not change (again, I have not encountered inequality). And the fact that girls-developers are required in the same way as boys is also very good. I would not like to see such a division professionally.”
🇺🇦 Dariia, IT Sourcing Specialist: “I hope there will be less ageism and sexism in this field.”
🇨🇭 Elisabeth, Project Manager: “It changes very slowly, so I am not very optimistic. The entire society has to change for it, so it’s a very complex subject.”
🇨🇦 Jenna, VC of Product Development: “I am hopeful the trend will continue towards parity in the future. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 having a greater impact on women in the work-force overall, I expect there will be a delay in getting back to the growth we were seeing pre-pandemic.”
🇺🇦 Kateryna, Front-End Developer: “Hard to say because the number of women in IT has not changed and has remained at 8% for the last year according to DOU polls.”
🇺🇦 Anastasiia, QA Engineer: “It’s hard to say. But it looks like more and more women are becoming programmers and testers, which is cool.”
🇺🇦 Polina, Back-End Developer: “Same as for other companies.”
🇺🇦 Daryna, Data Analyst: “I think there will be a growth in the percentage of girls in technical specialties, unequivocally :).”
🇨🇭 Marina, Project Manager / Business Analyst: “I don’t know, but i guess in future more women will start making a career in information technology. I think in this classic male domain, women certainly have many skills which are helpful in order to be successful.”
Few Words from Mobilunity’s Top Management
As an organization bridging businesses worldwide with the very best of Ukrainian Development market, we look at March 8 as the day when we think ourselves how diverse our company is, how well were we capable to improve since the last years, and how confidently may we speak Mobilunity and its clients are making conditions to employees equal, no matter of their gender, age, sexual orientation, race, origin or any else criteria.
I’ve met hundreds of female professionals in our industry who were pure leaders in what their profession is. I am honored to know and be friends with dozens of women undoubtedly being top 1% in the tech field on the market. I have good hopes for Ukraine and the whole world to continue removing all artificially created barriers for women, in the tech field specifically. And we ourselves, our company, is committed to this process as well.
Andriana, Mobilunity Co-Founder and Managing Partner