Companies where women are well represented at the top earn up to 50% higher profits and share performance. Yet, gender parity in new hires and advancement are still issues across industries and roles. In tech, the disparities are even more pronounced, according to reports from consultancy McKinsey.
The report notes that women earn about half of science and engineering degrees but less than 20% of people employed in these fields are women.
“When it comes to advancement in tech roles, only 52 women are promoted to manager for every 100 men.”
In Europe, women occupy only 22% of all tech roles across European companies.”
“While the spate of tech layoffs in the face of economic uncertainties ahead has caused companies to rethink their talent strategies, only 7% of the layoffs have been in Europe, according to the State of European tech report for 2022,3 and the underlying economic fundamentals that rely on tech talent remain in place.”
The company says that an analysis shows a tech talent gap of 1.4 million to 3.9 million people by 2027 for EU-27 countries.
“If Europe could double the share of women in the tech workforce to about 45%, or an estimated 3.9 million additional women by 2027—something we believe is possible—it could close this talent gap and benefit from a GDP increase of as much as €260 billion to €600 billion.”
However, the consultancy also notes that women in technical roles are less likely than men to win promotions early in their careers.
“There has been an increased focus on gender parity in new hires and on greater equality in executive roles. But companies may be missing another critical moment: equitable advancement in early promotion.”
“Early promotions in a career are most critical to success and yet for the past eight years, McKinsey research has consistently shown that women lose ground in the step up to manager.”
To improve women’s careers, the report advices:
- Access to training, projects, and other resources to accelerate skill building for women in technical roles. “Our interviews suggest that companies can better support the advancement of women in technical roles by providing them with opportunities to build a wide array of skills, along with structured guidance on their professional development.” It’s also important for women in technical roles to join high-visibility projects where they can develop their skills on the job.
- Implement a structured approach to early promotions. “Our interviews suggest that many organizations could do much more to standardize their promotion processes for early-tenure technical roles and eliminate unintentional bias. Women who work at organizations that lack a clear, equitable promotion structure for early-tenure employees say they face an upward pathway that can be ambiguous, uneven, and biased.”
- Connect early-tenure women with capable managers, mentors, and sponsors. Recognizing that senior colleagues play a valuable role in the professional development of workers who are early in their careers, leading companies take measures to help women in technical roles connect with people who have more experience. Direct managers often play an especially important role in the professional lives of early-tenure employees.