Research shows that women don’t want to be managers
Intellect’s Women in IT Forum and womenintechnology.co.uk recently released the results of their survey about women working in the technology profession.
The survey found that 88% of women have achieved director-level positions, an increase of 3% over 2007, but many women do not want to pursue pure managerial roles and prefer to stay in technical jobs. This means that women in IT project management want to remain project managers and not move into portfolio management or lead a PMO.
APM’s Women in Project Management SIG is a group that supports and promotes women in project management. A Girl’s Guide to Project Management also does this informally. Is it wrong to try to encourage more women to senior positions? We don’t want directorships, which could be why we don’t get them.
This is a lie. I’m sure that there are many men who enjoy technical, hands-on, non-managerial jobs. This type of work should appeal to women as well. Senior managers can be stressful and require people-management responsibilities.
Mixed support for women’s career development
Women who want to be managers need to know that their workplace supports them.
However, statistics don’t support this. The Intellect/WiT survey found that 60% of respondents have more than 10 years experience, but only 26% of those surveyed have reached senior management. Many others felt that they were being overlooked for promotion in favor of male colleagues. More than a third of respondents stated that they had quit their previous position due to lack of internal promotion.
The work/life balance options available are a bit better, it seems. With 71% of respondents opting for remote work, eighty percent of companies offer it. This seems like a lot, but the survey was focused on IT professionals. It could be that IT companies and IT departments are more forward-thinking in terms of the kit and policies for working from home.
It is not very detrimental to your career to be a woman
Nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that being a woman in technology has not hindered their career. If you flip that statistic around, it will show that almost two-fifths of women believe that being female has hindered their career in technology.
Although the survey doesn’t provide any details on how it works, here are some of these findings:
47% believe that in order to succeed in a tech job, one must act like a man (whatever this means).
75% believe technology employers promote long-hour work cultures
84% think that more should be done for women to return to work after maternity leaves.
It doesn’t matter if you want to be a manager or not, the important thing is that all women should feel that they are supported by their IT project management careers and that they have options. What have you learned about the career path of project manager? Please share your experiences with us in the comments.