Around 76% of women working in technology believe the effects of Covid-19 have delayed their career progression, while half of (54%) Indian women believe that the much needed gender equality is more likely to be achieved through remote working structures. While lockdown life was earmarked as a possible accelerator towards equal gender opportunity in IT positions, lingering social biases have hindered this potential breakthrough period.
Kaspersky’s new ‘Women in Tech report, Where are we now? Understanding the evolution of women in technology’, found that almost 38% Indian women working in the tech/ IT industry do indeed prefer working at home to working in the office. However, this report highlight how the potential of remote working for women in technology isn’t quite being matched by social progression in this ‘working from home’ dynamic. Almost half of women (44%) working in technology have struggled to juggle work and family life since March 2020—a figure that is at its most prominent in India but is a consistent worldwide trend.
Delve deeper, and the reasons for this imbalance become clearer. When female respondents were asked about the day-to-day functions that are detracting from productivity or work progression, 54% said they had done the majority of cleaning in the home compared to 33% of men, 54% had been in charge of home schooling compared to 40% of men, and 50% of women have had to adapt their working hours more than their male partner in order to look after the family. As a result, 76% of women in India believe that the effects of Covid-19 have actually delayed, rather than enhanced, their overall career progression.
“If the tech realm takes the lead and ensures a more flexible and balanced environment for women, then it will become the norm more quickly, which is more likely to trigger a change in social dynamics too. As always, it won’t change overnight, but there are signs that women are feeling more empowered to rightly demand this way of working,” says Evgeniya Naumova, vice-president of the Global Sales Network at Kaspersky. “Moving forward, we as an industry must build on this momentum, extract the positives from the past year’s transition to flexible working, and be a catalyst for wider social change as a result.”