Knowledge Center

Women in Technology: Maximizing Talent, Minimizing Barriers

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In 2005, Catalyst partnered with ISR (subsequently Towers Perrin-ISR), to more fully address and understand women’s talent management at technology companies. Catalyst also fielded a subsequent study in 2007 to examine drivers of satisfaction, retention, and advancement among women in technology, including:

  • Supervisory relationships.
  • Fairness and voice within their companies.
  • Development and training opportunities, as well as career planning.
  • Barriers to career advancement.
  • Generational differences among women in the technology workforce.
  • Equal opportunity and diversity.

The two-phase study revealed, among other findings, that:

  • While women in technology companies were generally satisfied, there were areas of particular concern for technical women—specifically around supervisory relationships and perceptions of fairness and voice—that companies must address.
  • Persistent barriers for women working in high-tech companies and/or in technical roles.
  • The prominence of perceived barriers to advancement varied based upon the number of other women in a department or work group, as well as a woman’s generational age.

Lead Sponsor: IBM Corporation

Contributing Sponsors: Cisco Systems, Inc.; Dell Inc.; National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT)