ISACA Survey Identifies Five Biggest Barriers Faced by Women in Tech

Unequal pay, lack of mentors and persistent gender bias remain

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#IWD2017–Wage inequality compared to male colleagues, workplace gender bias and a
shortage of female role models are among the main barriers faced by
women working in the technology field, according to a new survey by
global technology association ISACA.

Detailed in today’s release of “The
Future Tech Workforce: Breaking Gender Barriers
” report, which
coincides with International Women’s Day this week, survey respondents
identified the top five barriers experienced by women in tech as:

1. Lack of mentors (48 percent)

2. Lack of female role models in the field (42 percent)

3. Gender bias in the workplace (39 percent)

4. Unequal growth opportunities compared to men (36 percent)

5. Unequal pay for the same skills (35 percent)

“Women are vastly underrepresented in the global technology workforce.
This is not only a societal concern, but also a workforce problem, given
the critical shortage of skilled technology professionals faced by many
enterprises,” said Jo Stewart-Rattray, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC, FACS
CP, board director of ISACA and director of information security and IT
assurance at BRM Holdich. “ISACA’s survey findings reinforce that there
is much work left to be done. By providing more opportunities, including
career advancement programs, we can make long overdue progress in
ensuring that women are more equitably represented in the technology

When asked about opportunities for professional growth, 75 percent of
respondents state their employer lacks a gender leadership development
program. Additionally, 8 out 10 women report their supervisors are male
and just 8 percent report never experiencing gender bias in the

The survey found that women specifically want mentors, role models and
strong networking opportunities.

In fact, it’s clear that women hunger to learn and benefit from the
presence of other women in technology. But at the top of the list of
barriers for women in the ISACA survey were “limited networking
opportunities” and “lack of a strong professional network,” the report

ISACA addresses the lack of networking opportunities through its Connecting
Women Leaders in Technology
program, which began in 2015 and
connects women in the technology industry.

Globally, pay disparity remains a challenge with 25 percent of
respondents from Africa, 29 percent from Asia, 53 percent from Europe,
48 percent from Latin America, 60 percent from the Middle East, 42
percent from North America and 80 percent from Oceania reporting that
male colleagues tend to be paid more, without a clear reason.

“As an industry, we must commit to changing these numbers and breaking
down the barriers for women in technology,” said Tara Wisniewski,
ISACA’s managing director of advocacy and public affairs. “It is well
past time to address these issues, and ISACA has a responsibility to
help solve them.”

In 2017, ISACA will feature several educational opportunities related to
its Connecting Women Leaders in Technology program, including a Women in
Technology webinar series. The next webinar
is scheduled for 18 May. Women in technology programs will also take
place at ISACA’s North
America CACS conference
in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 1-3 May, as well
as at the EuroCACS
in Munich, Germany, 29-31 May.

A survey report and perspectives from women in tech are available at

Survey Methodology

The Future Tech Workforce: Breaking Gender Barriers study was conducted
via online polling among ISACA’s female members worldwide. More than 500
individuals participated in the survey, which was fielded in November



John Julitz, +1.847.660.5769,
Kessinger, +1.847.660.5512,