Monthly Archives: October 2014

Why women are leaving STEM jobs?

Once again I am writing about my “favorite” subject – women in STEM and IT. And I put the word “favorite” in quotes, because there is nothing good in the fact, that we as a society need to return to the topic of women being treated unequally again and again.

The article published at Why are women leaving science, engineering, and tech-jobs states, that women are 45% more likely than men to leave the industry within a year, and not because of lack of enthusiasm. Among the factors which contribute to the decision to leave, the article highlights the following:

  • The sense of isolation: Surveyed women describe these as the “lab-coat culture” in science that encourages long unforgiving hours, the “hard-hat culture” of engineering, and the frat-like “geek workplace culture” of tech.
  • Biased evaluations: 72% of U.S. women sensing gender bias at work in their evaluations; 88% of women received critical feedback versus 59% of men; the word “abrasive” appeared on women’s reviews frequently, while that word was totally absent from men’s reviews.
  • Lack of sponsors, who can advocate on their behalf: 86% of women in the U.S. don’t have sponsors–a factor significantly holding women back from progressing to more senior level positions. What’s more, while 70% of women resist confronting their boss about a pay raise, 38% of women with a sponsor advising them would make the request
  • Lack of women mentors:

    One of the challenges the report found is women in high-ranking positions are less inclined to help women advance in their careers. This lack of senior women role models is one significant factor contributing to the lack of women at the executive level, says Jocelyn Goldfein, a director of engineering at Facebook. “The reason there aren’t more women computer scientists is because there aren’t more women computer scientists,” Goldfein adds.

When I look at this list, I can’t help but thinking about my own professional career, and I can tell, that at Enova we are making significant progress toward eliminating or at least reducing the sense of isolation. Also, I was extremely fortunate to have several sponsors, who really helped me to advance. And the last, but not least – I hope that I myself can be a model for other women seeking career in IT.

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