Women in IT: A nice thank you is no longer enough
March 6, 2023
min read

Women in IT: A nice thank you is no longer enough

Barbara Oberrauter-Zabransky
Barbara Oberrauter-Zabransky

For quite some time, companies have been desperately looking for new talents with IT know-how, and software developers are particularly in demand. Some companies can afford to treat part of their workforce like the proverbial stepchild. Worryingly, women in tech are particularly underrepresented in the IT industry. And that’s painfully reducing the talent pool.

In our latest survey, we took a closer look at the needs of female developers that employers must address in order to become more attractive to potential female candidates. Survey shows that the first priority is quite logical -  the salary. Immediately afterward, female developers want the opportunity to work on interesting projects and demand support for their personal development.

A simple thank you is no longer enough for women in tech

Particularly for women in tech (60% of respondents), now more than ever is more important that their professional success is recognized. While men are happy about appreciation through celebrations, or ‘shout-outs’ or a very simple ‘thank you’, in contrast to women in tech, a nice ‘thank you is no longer enough.

women in tech international women day

They want to be supported for the work they have done in the long term (e.g., through further training). Female software engineers are fed up with always scoring points by being modest. This is also reflected in the desire for a salary increase, which is now more pronounced among women (62%) than men (57%).

Discrimination still is a striking phenomenon in the IT industry. 55% of survey participants (women) stated: ‘I have felt or seen discrimination at work before.’

As expected, both men and women demand flexibility from their employers, especially when it comes to working hours. The desire for flexible remote working options (50%) is also particularly important for female developers. The human environment also plays a greater role for women. For 24 percent of them, which colleagues they work with (men: 17%) is particularly important. And during job interviews, women in tech often ask about the people they would deal with every day in a potential new job.

When it comes to concrete support from superiors, women (50%) are characterized not only by the clear desire for more personal and professional feedback (men: 42%). They are also the ones (35%) who want more opportunities to participate in a mentoring program (men: 22%).

Women in tech don't give up so quickly

Job boredom - quickly becomes a problem for motivated tech talents and, thus, for their employers. Most of the survey participants state that they will speak to their managers or seek employment by themselves to keep busy and challenged. But men are also quicker to inquire about vacancies in their networks, look through job offers, or talk to headhunters. An additional reason for smart entrepreneurs arises to make special efforts to attract more women in tech: On average, they show more loyalty and wait to see if things will get better before giving up hope.

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But when women in tech do want to change their jobs? The following reasons are decisive compared to men: Salary (37% to 33%), a bad working atmosphere (36% to 28%), and stressful or inefficient working conditions (33% to 27%). Unfair, unclear, or non-transparent promotions within the company are also particularly large frustration factors for female developers (30% to 21%).

Discrimination is a noticeable problem for women in tech

The majority of survey participants show that discrimination is also a striking problem in the IT industry: 55 percent stated: “I have felt or seen discrimination at work before.” These negative experiences most often relate to racism, while sexist discrimination is also an issue and, thus, a signal for action to be taken.

women in tech international women day
Women in tech have often been confronted with unprofessional interviewers, disrespect, and indiscreet or inadmissible questions.

The situation reflects a gender gap too. 72 percent of survey participants have experienced or observed workplace discrimination – in contrast to 61 percent declared as men.

This can be perceived in job interviews: according to the survey, female developers have often been confronted with unprofessional interviewers, disrespect, and indiscreet or inadmissible questions.


We celebrate International Women’s Day by hosting Women in Tech Day to recognize the contributions of women in IT around the world and to accelerate gender equality in the IT sector. Inspiring keynotes from top speakers are on the program from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Among other things, the renowned game designer Brenda Romero will give a lecture on ‘Hidden Histories’. Those interested can register here free of charge here.


#Wanted and #Misunderstood: A Developer Survey 2023 (Full Report)

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#Wanted and #Misunderstood: A Developer Survey 2023 (Full Report)

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