With International Women’s Day being celebrated to the fullest in March, we saw various rallies and peaceful demonstrations across the globe where women took to the streets to demand equality of rights.
Some have argued that women in the United States are far more liberated than the rest of the world, but considering the current socio-political environment, that may not be the case for too long.
This isn’t just limited to politics; in fact reports, show that women, on average, are still paid less than men. But that’s simply the tip of the iceberg. Even if women aren’t discriminated against on an institutional level (which they are), they have to face an overwhelming amount of hurdles and work twice as hard to match the level of success their male colleagues can achieve easily.
Women may have made it to Forbes’ list of 100 most successful people in the world, but does this mean that the invisible glass ceiling no longer exists? Let’s take a look at what the glass ceiling is, how it affects women, and the extent to which it’s prevalent in the IT industry today.
The invisible barrier
The glass ceiling is an invisible and unseen barrier that keeps women and other minorities from rising through the ranks of a corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications, talent, achievements, and experience.
Many have argued that the glass ceiling has dissolved, but statistics show that it’s still pervasive even in the 21st century. It comes in the way of women achieving success in any field they want to thrive in. Studies show that even though women have surpassed men in educational attainment, they’re vastly underpaid and unrepresented in top-paying jobs and roles within an organization
How does the glass ceiling affect women?
Even though the role of women has changed tremendously in the job sector, it would be naïve to assume that all hurdles have been cleared from their path to success. Studies show that there isn’t a radical shift in power. Women are only able to grow horizontally within an organization, unlike most men in their field that progress vertically. As such, women mostly dominate jobs that are low-paying, low status, and traditionally female-centric occupations such as secretarial work and nursing.
While it can’t be denied that some women have managed to break the glass ceiling, they have often done so at the cost of their reputation. Women who claw their way to the top are called unemotional, unnecessarily tough, and overly ambitious to the point that it begins to make others despise them and disregard their authority. In contrast, a man wouldn’t have to bat an eye or concern himself with any of these problems, because he wouldn’t face any of these issues to begin with.
Women in the IT sector
A survey shows that 31 percent of women think that the IT industry has a glass ceiling that’s holding them back. Although some progress has been made, a vast majority of women in the IT industry are battling inequality in wages, as well as organizational culture that prefers men in leadership roles.
A few women from the IT industry who were interviewed about the prevalent issues commented, “The rules for men and women are always inherently different because a man can let his accomplishments speak for himself, whereas a woman has to shed light on hers actively. In addition to that, men are automatically deemed worthy of better projects and promotions compared to women—even if they have similar qualifications.”
Studies also show that the percentage of women in the IT industry remains as low as 16 percent, and the number hasn’t increased much in the past decade. This is primarily due to the stereotypes associated with technology careers that are considered appropriate for a man, but not for a woman. In addition to that, women also experience hiring discrimination where they aren’t deemed fit for a job, solely because of their gender, regardless of their skills and qualifications.
Despite the cards stacked against them, women in the IT sector persist and continue to challenge the status quo, and New England Staffing Agency is joining hands with them. New England Staffing is one of the top IT recruiting firms in New England and highly condemns workplace gender-based discrimination and has teamed up with employers who provide equal opportunity to all candidates solely based on their talent.