Breaking Down the Gender Challenge: Women in Technology


Breaking Down the Gender Challenge: Women in Technology

5 Minute Read
For the last two years, McKinsey and have conducted extensive research to identify patterns that hinder women from reaching their full potential in the workplace.

For the last two years, McKinsey and have conducted extensive research to identify patterns that hinder women from reaching their full potential in the workplace. Our 2016 study found that the barriers and challenges are many, and they are prevalent across a number of industries.  But as the graphic below explains, women in technology face particular challenges.

For example, women working in technology, and in particular engineering and P&L-generating roles in the industry, are represented in numbers far below parity and significantly below other industries. Our study found that the gap in female representation compared with other industries was a dramatic 25%.  Fifty percent more women in tech reported that they felt it harder to advance than their peers in other industries.  And three times more women in tech than in non-tech industries reported feeling that they missed out on an opportunity because of their gender.

At the same time, however, women working in tech report consistently higher job satisfaction—25% more women in tech are satisfied with their role than are women in non-tech industries.  The average retention rate for women in senior positions is in tech is actually lower than the attrition rate for men.  And women in senior tech positions report the highest satisfaction rate in personal and family life across all industry sectors.

This data suggests that tech companies have a long way to go to achieving the social and economic benefits that come with gender parity.  But it also suggests a significant opportunity to attract more women to the tech workforce.

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For more of McKinsey & LeanIn’s data, visit .  And get in touch with us if you’d like to share thoughts or suggestions on how to address and overcome some of the challenges women face in the tech workplace.

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