The broken rung on the ladder for women in Tech

This week is Techweek, a moment dedicated to celebrating advancements through sharing the latest and greatest ideas. Of course, this involves celebrating the very people making and shaping these strides.

We know that women are increasingly turning to STEM industries. Something mirrored by organisations, who in turn are looking to increase the representation of women — many through a gender parity-focus in in new hires and in executive roles.

Despite this promising shift, there’s a rung in the STEM-focused women’s career ladder that seems to be broken: equitable advancement in early promotion, as found by our Partners, McKinsey.

Across all industries and roles, women are promoted at a slower rate than men. The promotion gap is much wider in the tech sector: with only 52 women being promoted to manager for every 100 men at the same level, compared to the average of 86 for every 100 men across all industries.

McKinsey’s research found that in order to help women in technical roles secure a track towards important early-career promotions, a systematic approach with three key enablers helps significantly in repairing the broken rung. These are:

  • Providing equitable access to skill building
  • Implementing a structured process that seeks to debias promotions
  • Building a strong culture of support for women via mentors and sponsors

The report from McKinsey and Girls in Tech specifically looked at the barriers preventing women in technical roles from earning early promotions to distil these solutions. This was done through nearly 40 interviews with early-tenure individuals in technical roles plus the leaders and supervisors who oversee promotions, among others.

More insights, strategies and examples on repairing these broken rungs await in the full report, Repairing the broken rung on the career ladder for women in technical roles. Get the full scoop through their website here.