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Data reveals women's struggles in the tech industries

Discrimination against women in high-tech jobs has been getting more attention lately thanks to media reports that reveal an ingrained culture of bias and harassment. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has compiled data that indicates these stories may be just the tip of the iceberg.

Studies show that discrimination against women and minority groups has created an "overwhelming dominance of white men" in tech fields.

Underrepresented

When it comes to leadership positions, women are not well-represented. Nearly 80 percent of senior officers and managers are men, while just over 20 percent are women. Even among the lower officer and managerial positions, women only make up 30.1 percent of the total. Women in professional positions represent almost 32 percent, while roughly 24 percent of the technicians are female.

Some claim these numbers are so low because there are not enough qualified women applying for the jobs. However, data comparing the rate of graduations of females and males with bachelor's degrees and higher indicate that this should not be the case. 

Undervalued

According to some reports, many tech companies hire women to raise the appearance of diversity within the organization but never have any intention of using their talents. In one survey, women who were hired into tech jobs said their employers questioned their expertise and discounted their successes, and two-thirds stated that they had to continually prove themselves.

In another study, 80 percent of American women in these industries claim to love the work they do, but 32 percent admit to feeling as if their careers are unlikely to advance, and are considering leaving the field. Pay discrepancies show men earning 11 to 25 percent more than women in the same positions.

Many women say that they fear retaliation, not just from their employers, but from the industry as a whole, if they speak up. Some, though, have chosen to fight back against the male-dominated culture by publicly sharing their stories, filing complaints with the EEOC and taking their employers to court.

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