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White paper - Women in IT - Are women perpetuating the glass ceiling?

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Global technology and IT recruitment specialists Greythorn, with offices in Singapore, surveyed their female IT candidates on a range of topics surrounding gender diversity. This brand new white …

Global technology and IT recruitment specialists Greythorn, with offices in Singapore, surveyed their female IT candidates on a range of topics surrounding gender diversity. This brand new white paper discusses the perception of female leaders vs male leaders and what organisations could do to address the ongoing issue of a glass ceiling.

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  • 1. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on Women In IT Are women perpetuating the glass ceiling? April 2014
  • 2. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on Executive Summary Global technology and IT recruitment specialists Greythorn, with offices in Singapore, surveyed their female IT candidates on a range of topics surrounding diversity. The first paper ( Strategies and Initiatives to Keep Women in IT) was released on 7th March. This second white paper discusses the perception of female managers vs male managers and what organisations could do to address this. The results are summarised in this report. Although around 17 countries have women as head of government, head of state or both (Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2014), a report by Grant Thornton (2014), found that the proportion of women in the most senior roles in business has remained steady at 24%, the same figure as 2012, 2009 and 2007. What is stopping women in their career paths? Our survey results found that a significant 37% of women preferred a male boss, the remainder stated either male or female (63%) and none stated they preferred a female boss. Why are female bosses getting such a harsh rap from women? This bias against women is shown again in research by TIME which found “women are just as likely as men to show sexism toward women in hiring practices, salaries and professional mentorship” (Christakis, 2012). Another study revealed both males and females would willingly give up thousands of dollars in salary to have a male boss (Ireland, 2007). Could women be perpetuating their own glass ceiling? A Dow Jones report (2012) found that the “overall median proportion of female executives was 7.1% at successful companies and 3.1% at unsuccessful companies, demonstrating the value that having more females can potentially bring to a management team…for start-ups with five or more females, 61% were successful and only 39% failed”. Is there anything companies could do to change this perception in order to help women succeed in management roles and potentially make a difference to a company’s bottom line? Dung Nguyen, Manager at Greythorn Singapore commented: “Female leaders appear to receive far more scrutiny than male leaders. Much research suggests that women are judged based not only on how well they do their job, but also on how they dress, look and balance their lives. In order to overcome this, companies could look beyond the normal strategies of quotas and flexible working to attract women, by also assessing what ingrained social and cultural beliefs may exist in their organisations that hinder women becoming senior managers.” We hope you find the results insightful. We would be happy to discuss any of this further with you. Greythorn
  • 3. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on Introduction Women in IT in SingaporeIn February 2014, Greythorn, specialist Technology recruitment, carried out a survey of women in IT in Singapore, receiving responses from 141. The purpose of the survey was to uncover women’s experiences and beliefs regarding equality in the IT industry in Singapore. In particular, topics included were: •Gender diversity •What makes a good manager •Female manager vs male manager The survey was carried out by means of an electronic questionnaire and all results are anonymous. In February 2014, Greythorn, specialist Technology recruitment, carried out a survey of women in IT in Singapore, receiving responses from 141. The purpose of the survey was to uncover women’s experiences and beliefs regarding equality in the IT industry in Singapore. In particular, topics included were: •Gender diversity •What makes a good manager •Female manager vs male manager The survey was carried out by means of an electronic questionnaire and all results are anonymous. 89% of respondents have been in the IT profession greater than 6 years 57% have direct reports Source: Greythorn Women In IT Survey 2014
  • 4. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on Do women make good managers? On a positive note, the majority of respondents thought women made good managers (84%). Key reasons were the attention to detail, and the ability to listen and empathize. The 16% who stated no, gave reasons predominantly around emotional control or lack of it. They stated that females can be too micro and take things too personally. The Singapore Board Diversity Report, an annual publication by NUS Business School’s Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO) in November 2013, and BoardAgender found that the greater the gender diversity in the boardroom, the better the financial performance and governance of the firm (Dieleman et al, 2013). However according to Grant Thornton’s IBR report in 2013 women hold only 27% of senior management positions in Singapore. On a positive note, the majority of respondents thought women made good managers (84%). Key reasons were the attention to detail, and the ability to listen and empathize. The 16% who stated no, gave reasons predominantly around emotional control or lack of it. They stated that females can be too micro and take things too personally. The Singapore Board Diversity Report, an annual publication by NUS Business School’s Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO) in November 2013, and BoardAgender found that the greater the gender diversity in the boardroom, the better the financial performance and governance of the firm (Dieleman et al, 2013). However according to Grant Thornton’s IBR report in 2013 women hold only 27% of senior management positions in Singapore. Source: Greythorn Women In IT Survey 2014
  • 5. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on Males vs female boss? Despite the overwhelming majority of women surveyed believing females make good managers, a surprising 37% still preferred a male boss! Are women their own worst enemy when upholding the gender stereotypes that exist? When filtering the survey results to those females who are also searching for managerial responsibilities, the figure who prefer a male boss remains virtually unchanged at 33%. This was an unexpected result. There have been many studies showing that even females have an unconscious bias towards male bosses. Reasons given from the Greythorn survey were predominantly around the stereotypical characteristics of males vs females i.e. females are more emotional and less rational. Pleasingly however, the majority of respondents (63%) did state they had no preference for gender - depending on the leadership qualities of the person in question, gender was irrelevant. Despite the overwhelming majority of women surveyed believing females make good managers, a surprising 37% still preferred a male boss! Are women their own worst enemy when upholding the gender stereotypes that exist? When filtering the survey results to those females who are also searching for managerial responsibilities, the figure who prefer a male boss remains virtually unchanged at 33%. This was an unexpected result. There have been many studies showing that even females have an unconscious bias towards male bosses. Reasons given from the Greythorn survey were predominantly around the stereotypical characteristics of males vs females i.e. females are more emotional and less rational. Pleasingly however, the majority of respondents (63%) did state they had no preference for gender - depending on the leadership qualities of the person in question, gender was irrelevant. Source: Greythorn Women In IT Survey 2014
  • 6. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on Your experience with male vs female bosses When asked to rank specific managerial traits of male v.s. female bosses, overall figures showed disappointingly that female bosses have not met expectation when compared to their male counterparts. In particular, women found that their female leaders were less empowering and less able to influence. Less than a quarter found their female bosses excelled at making decisions, compared to over a third of their male counterparts. Why is this the case? Have female managers been given adequate resources to succeed or are women judged more critically by other women? When asked to rank specific managerial traits of male v.s. female bosses, overall figures showed disappointingly that female bosses have not met expectation when compared to their male counterparts. In particular, women found that their female leaders were less empowering and less able to influence. Less than a quarter found their female bosses excelled at making decisions, compared to over a third of their male counterparts. Why is this the case? Have female managers been given adequate resources to succeed or are women judged more critically by other women? Source: Greythorn Women In IT Survey 2014
  • 7. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on When questioned specifically about leadership and team management ability, again female bosses were rated significantly lower than their male counterparts by the women surveyed. In particular on leadership, where one third of male managers exceeded expectation, only 17% of female bosses achieved this. Why? Why are females being rated so poorly compared to males? Is this an opportunity for companies to provide more leadership training for their female managers? When questioned specifically about leadership and team management ability, again female bosses were rated significantly lower than their male counterparts by the women surveyed. In particular on leadership, where one third of male managers exceeded expectation, only 17% of female bosses achieved this. Why? Why are females being rated so poorly compared to males? Is this an opportunity for companies to provide more leadership training for their female managers? Your experience with male vs female bosses Source: Greythorn Women In IT Survey 2014
  • 8. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on What do you (woman in IT) look for in a career? Respondents were asked what the key drivers are for their career choice? Career progression and a good salary were favored by 75%, however almost half of women (42%) also sought managerial responsibilities. With so many females seeking a management role, how can organizations support this to ensure that their female managers today become the successful leaders of tomorrow, thereby improving board room diversity? Respondents were asked what the key drivers are for their career choice? Career progression and a good salary were favored by 75%, however almost half of women (42%) also sought managerial responsibilities. With so many females seeking a management role, how can organizations support this to ensure that their female managers today become the successful leaders of tomorrow, thereby improving board room diversity? Source: Greythorn Women In IT Survey 2014
  • 9. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on What can organisations do to help increase the number and perception of women in management?
  • 10. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on Case Studies of women in management - Equinix
  • 11. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on Case Studies of women in management - ANZ
  • 12. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on Contact Us Disclaimer This research was carried out by means of an electronic questionnaire. The information was supplemented with data and market information that Greythorn has access to. The results are provided as generic market information only. Greythorn does not make any warranties regarding the use, validity, accuracy or reliability of the results and information obtained. Greythorn will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising out of or relating to use of this information.
  • 13. www.greythorn.com.sg | +65 6590 9150 | Join us on References Inter-Parliamentary Union (2014) Women in National Parliaments. National Parliaments, http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/world.htm [Accessed on 21 March 2014] Grant Thornton (2014) International Business Report 2014 - Women in Business: from classroom to boardroom. Grant Thornton, http://www.grantthornton.com.au/files/ibr2014_wib_report.pdf [Accessed on 21 March 2014] Grant Thornton (2013) International Business Report 2013 - Women in senior management: setting the stage for growth. Grant Thornton, http://www.grantthornton.com.au/files/ibr2013_wib_report_final.pdf [Accessed on 21 March 2014] Christakis (2012) Why are women biased against other women. Time, http://ideas.time.com/2012/10/04/womens-inhumanity-to-women/ [Accessed on 21 March 2014] Ireland (2007) Mahzarin Banaji looks at biology of bias. Harvard Gazette, http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2007/10/mahzarin-banaji-looks-at-biology-of-bias/ [Accessed on 21 March 2014] Dow Jones (2012) Women at the Wheel: Do Female Executives Drive Start-up Success?. Dow Jones, http://www.dowjones.com/collateral/files/WomenPE_report_final.pdf [Accessed on 21 March 2014] Dieleman, Qian and Ibrahim (2013) Singapore Board Diversity Report 2013: Time for Women to Rise. Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations, NUS Business School http://bschool.nus.edu/Portals/0/images/CGIO/Report/Singapore%20Board%20_Diversity_Report_ %202013_Final.pdf [Accessed on 21 March 2014] The World Bank (2012) World Development Report: Gender Equality and Development. The World Bank, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTWDR2012/Resources/7778105-1299699968583/7786210-1315936222006/Complete-Report.pdf [Accessed on 21 March 2014]