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Gender Discrimination Linked to Poor Project Management
New research suggests that technically oriented women could face gender discrimination in their jobs at high-tech firms in part because of mismanaged projects. Tech firms rely excessively on a "hero mindset" to save runaway coding projects that are poorly organized, and employees with family responsibilities -- often women -- are sacrificed as a result, according to the report.
"The Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement of Technical Women: Breaking Barriers to Cultural Change in Corporations" was published Monday by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, a nonprofit organization that focuses on the role of women at high-tech firms.
There's also evidence of bias against women in recruitment and job assignment in places where high-tech corporate cultures thrive on this "hero mindset" that "rewards a 'last minute' crunch where 24/7 work becomes necessary to 'save' a project, failing to acknowledge family responsibilities and flexibility needs," the report says.
A second report published Monday by the Anita Borg Institute, "Senior Technical Women: A Profile of Success," draws on a survey of about 1,800 participants from seven unidentified high-tech firms in Silicon Valley. It found that women now hold about 4% of the senior-level technical positions at high-tech firms, and an estimated one-quarter of all technology jobs. At the higher level, women more frequently end up in a manager job than men (36.9% of women compared to 19% of men), who are much more likely to be in what's called an "individual contributor position" in technical coding jobs.