Booking.com, one of the world’s largest travel e-commerce companies and a digital technology leader, has revealed the first set of findings from its ‘Women in Tech’ research. The research aims to provide a better understanding on the continuing gender diversity challenge in the technology sector and the perceptions, experiences and ambitions of women in India with respect to career opportunities in tech.
The research was conducted among women who work in tech and female students interested in pursuing a career in the industry and revealed that overall, Indian women have a positive outlook on technology careers. 90% of Indian women believe their gender positively impacts their ability to pursue a career in technology, the highest across all markets surveyed, with 25% citing that they believe job requirements in tech are a fit for women’s natural skillsets. Another 25% felt that career opportunities in tech are advertised as much to women as to men. The presence of female decision makers in the industry is especially acknowledged by girls in high school, with 29% of those surveyed citing this as a reason they had a positive outlook on careers in the industry.
The Tech Appeal:
Women in India are drawn to the tech industry for a myriad of reasons. They consider it to be innovative (45%), creative (45%), exciting (32%) and inspiring (32%). The latter two attributes are the top factors that draw high school girls and undergraduates to build a career in tech.
Early exposure to certain skills and subjects have influenced the career choices of 88% of the women surveyed. They believe this early exposure plays a significant role in driving their professional choices. The research also highlights that, Indian women are much more likely to follow in the career footsteps of their parents (64% vs. 40% global average).
Factors defining a dream job:
93% of women in India believe that a role will qualify as their ‘dream job’ when it offers work that inspires them. This is followed by a job that poses challenges (91%) and a job that provides them with a chance to carve their own path (90%). Other factors include a high pay scale (90%) and work that aligns with their natural skillset (89%). However, for 95% of high school girls and undergraduates, work that inspires them is the prime motivator and consideration for a role to qualify as their dream job.
Despite the positive outlook, women also have some reservations about the technology industry and at certain-touch points in their pursuit of a career in tech, have seen being female as more detrimental. More than four in five women say they face more challenges to enter (82%), grow and succeed (83%) in certain careers than men.
“Women are still vastly underrepresented in the tech sector. What our research now tells us is exactly where women experience the biggest barriers and where the opportunity to initiate change is,” said Gillian Tans, CEO at Booking.com. “The optimism and ambition that we see from women globally to be successful in a technology or IT field is inspiring, particularly among the younger generation, who see the potential for a career in tech to deliver against the high aspirations they hold for themselves.”
“But to empower women to truly succeed in tech, we as an industry have an opportunity to do more. This includes putting forth more female role models, eliminating gender bias that starts right from the recruitment process before a woman is even hired, and investing in initiatives that spotlight the industry as attractive and welcoming at all stages, from new entrants up to the most senior leadership,” Tans continued.