Women in Tech: 5 Myths about Women in IT

employee recognition kudos app slack employee engagement


Women in tech careers still don't have an easy life. Despite a wealth of research indicating that the cognitive differences between the sexes are minimal, the landscape of the IT industry still presents a challenging environment for tech ladies, and women in technology pursuing tech careers. This challenge manifests not only externally, in terms of having to constantly prove their competence and professionalism to colleagues and superiors but also internally, as they often grapple with self-doubt. For women in tech organizations, the journey is compounded by the need for validation in a field traditionally dominated by men, adding an unnecessary layer of stress and creating significant impediments to their growth and recognition in the sector. Furthermore, women in tech jobs and those embarking on tech careers face additional scrutiny and must navigate a maze of stereotypes and biases that can hinder their professional progression. This dual battle, both against external perceptions and internal insecurities, underscores the complexity of the challenges faced by women in the IT industry. It highlights the pressing need for systemic changes that support and empower women, ensuring their skills, ideas, and contributions are acknowledged and valued on an equal footing with their male counterparts, paving the way for a more diverse, innovative, and successful industry.

Wrike's 2018 operational efficiency survey offers insightful data into the depth of this issue. By polling over a thousand specialists in the United States about organizational practices within their companies, the survey unveiled a telling disparity in the workplace experiences of men and women. A notable 48% of tech ladies' respondents reported that their suggestions for improvement were either disregarded outright or never progressed to the implementation stage. In contrast, a slightly lower percentage of male respondents, 42%, expressed the same sentiment. This discrepancy not only highlights the gender bias that exists in terms of whose ideas are taken seriously but also reflects a broader issue of women in tech jobs' contributions being undervalued.

Confronting Myths and Advocating for Change

The underrepresentation of women in tech jobs is slowly improving, yet their work remains encumbered by persistent myths and stereotypes that are far removed from the truth. Common misconceptions range from baseless assumptions about women's technical abilities to unfounded narratives about their motivations for pursuing careers in IT—such as the offensive and outdated stereotype that women in tech careers are only in the field to find financially secure partners. These myths do a disservice not only to the women in tech organizations who navigate these challenges daily but also to the industry at large, by perpetuating a culture that undervalues diversity and inclusivity.

In this article, we aim to dismantle these myths and shed light on the reality of women's experiences in IT. By confronting these stereotypes head-on, we seek to advocate for a more equitable and supportive environment that recognizes and celebrates the contributions of women in technology. The path towards achieving this is multifaceted, involving organizational change, cultural shifts within the industry, and the empowerment of women through mentorship, networking, and advocacy. The ultimate goal is to foster an IT landscape where women's skills, ideas, and contributions are acknowledged and valued on an equal footing with their male counterparts, paving the way for a more diverse, innovative, and successful industry.


Women in IT female brain

The female brain is designed differently from the male brain, which is why women in technology generally have a poor understanding of tech

The notion that gender-specific brain differences could hinder women's capabilities in IT/tech or engineering is a myth that has been debunked by numerous scientific studies. Just as one wouldn't seriously consider hair color a determinant of coding skills, gender does not dictate one's proficiency in technology. The key to excelling in tech lies in dedication to learning, practice, and continuous improvement, factors that are wholly independent of gender. The question of effectiveness in coding and technology is a matter of skill, experience, and passion, rather than biological sex. The persistent gender gap in the tech sector, therefore, cannot be attributed to differences in capability or intellect, as there is no evidence to suggest that women are in any way intellectually inferior to men.

The case of Scandinavian countries offers a fascinating insight into the complexity of gender disparities in professional fields, including IT/tech. These nations, renowned for their progressive social policies and efforts to equalize socio-cultural conditions for men and women, provide a compelling context for examining the gender gap. Despite legislative measures aimed at providing complete freedom and equality in professional choice, the gender divide in certain areas, such as engineering and IT, remains pronounced. In Norway, for instance, men comprise 60% of those employed in engineering specialties within the IT industry, leaving women with a 40% share. This outcome challenges the assumption that equal opportunities alone will automatically lead to a balanced gender representation in all fields. It suggests that personal interests and societal influences play a significant role in career choices, reinforcing the idea that the underrepresentation of women in tech is not a matter of competence but of broader socio-cultural dynamics.

The Scandinavian experience underscores a critical point: while creating an equitable environment is essential, it does not guarantee identical career choices across genders. Women's decisions regarding their career in tech paths are influenced by a multitude of factors, including personal interests, societal expectations, career guide from organizations for women, and the availability of role models in specific fields. This highlights the importance of addressing not only the structural but also the cultural barriers that deter women from entering or thriving in the IT sector. Acknowledging that the disparity in gender representation is not rooted in intellectual or capability differences is the first step toward cultivating a more inclusive, diverse, and innovative tech industry. The tech community must continue challenging stereotypes, providing support systems, women-friendly tech job boards, and promoting success stories of women in tech to inspire future generations and bridge the gender gap.

There are no differences that prevent tech ladies from developing in the neck

Debunked by: Rodion Aznaurov an Advanced Software, Engineer, and psychologist with ten years of experience


women in it jetset lifestyle

Women leave jobs not because they are interested in the field and technology, but because they want an easy jest-set lifestyle

From a very young age, the allure of complexity and the challenge of unraveling the unknown have always fascinated me. My childhood was marked by a profound interest in assembling and disassembling gadgets, understanding the mechanics behind everyday objects, and an insatiable curiosity about how things worked. This curiosity was not confined to passive observation; I actively sought out puzzles and problems, reveling in putting together various schemes and getting hands-on with technology. This natural inclination towards the technical world was further nurtured by my academic interests. Physics and mathematics were not just subjects I excelled in; they were my passions. They offered me the logical framework and problem-solving skills that resonated deeply with my inquisitiveness. It was during these formative years, amidst equations and experiments, that a clear vision for my future began to crystallize.

Choosing a career path was, for me, less about following a conventional route and more about chasing a passion. Eleven years ago, when the IT sector in Ukraine was just beginning to burgeon, I made the decisive step to immerse myself in this field. The timing was fortuitous, but my choice was driven by a deep-seated desire to engage with a profession that challenged me daily, one that promised constant evolution and growth in my female engineer look. The burgeoning tech landscape in Ukraine offered fertile ground for someone like me, eager to dive into the depths of technology and innovation. Money was never the primary motivator for me and my bff's/favorite women; it was the thrill of solving complex problems, the drive to innovate, and the pursuit of knowledge that propelled me forward. This was a path that promised an escape from monotony, ensuring that every day was a new opportunity to push boundaries and expand my horizons.

This journey has been about more than just professional growth; it has been a deeply personal quest to prove to myself and the world that passion, coupled with resilience, can carve out a niche in even the most challenging fields. The technical domain, with its inherent difficulties and relentless pace of change, has been the perfect arena for this pursuit. It has demanded continuous learning, adaptation, and the willingness to tackle problems head-on, qualities that have defined my approach to both work and life. Looking back, the decision to connect my life with the technical field has not only shaped my career but has also reinforced my belief in the importance of following one's passion, embracing challenges, and finding fulfillment in the relentless pursuit of excellence.

The tech sector attracts ambitious and erudite people of all genders who want to solve interesting problems and get a decent income at the same time.

Debunked by: Daria Nesvitailo, Software Engineer


women in it social difficulties

It is more difficult for women to find a common language with male programmers, and even more so to manage them

Throughout my career in tech, I've consistently held the belief that professional competence and excellence are not dictated by gender but by an individual's experience, knowledge, and dedication to their field. This principle has been a cornerstone of my professional ethos, guiding how I interact with colleagues, and other women, and evaluate performance. My experiences have allowed me to work alongside numerous professionals in leadership roles, among whom have many accomplished women. These interactions have spanned the spectrum from highly positive to challenging, yet each has contributed to my understanding of what truly matters in a professional setting.

The crux of effective collaboration and leadership in tech, I've found, lies not in the gender of the individual but in their grasp of the profession, their clarity on responsibilities, and their insight into team dynamics. When these factors are present, working together becomes not just easy, but highly productive and enriching, transcending the superficial boundaries of gender. Consequently, I firmly reject the notion of using gender as a metric for evaluating professional capabilities. My stance is that assessing an individual's professional worth should be grounded in their performance, contributions, and how they navigate and lead within their professional environment.

This belief is not just a personal conviction but a call to action for the wider professional community to dismantle outdated stereotypes and embrace a more inclusive and meritocratic approach to professional evaluation and collaboration. Such a shift not only fosters a more equitable workplace but also unlocks the full potential of all individuals and all women in technology, allowing diverse talents and perspectives to flourish. In advocating for this change, I join a growing chorus of voices challenging the status quo and working towards a future where professional success is defined by skill, effort, and achievement, not gender.

In summary, my professional journey has reinforced my commitment to judging colleagues and leaders by their professional attributes rather than irrelevant and divisive criteria. By promoting a culture that values merit and capability above all, we can create a more inclusive, dynamic, and successful professional landscape. This approach not only benefits women in technology who might otherwise be marginalized but also enhances the collective strength and creativity of our teams and organizations.

Communication and leadership skills depend on certain personality traits, professionalism, and experience, but not on gender at all.

Debunked by: Dmytro Tuzenkov, Advanced Software Engineer


women earnings women in it

Women earn less than men

The gender pay gap in the IT sector is a well-documented and pervasive issue that reflects broader systemic inequalities in the workforce. In Poland, this disparity is starkly evident, with men earning on average 75% more than women. This significant gap in earnings underscores a troubling trend across the industry, where gender seems to play a decisive role in determining one's salary. This disparity exists across almost all positions in the market, painting a grim picture of the challenges women face in achieving financial parity with men. Interestingly, the only exception to this trend is found at the junior level, where the average salaries for women and men in tech align more closely. This anomaly suggests that while entry-level positions may offer equal footing for both genders, discrepancies begin to emerge as individuals advance in their careers.

Contrary to this tech industry-wide issue, at Mobile Reality, we have taken deliberate steps to ensure an equitable work environment for all our employees, irrespective of gender. I am proud to state that within my team, there is no distinction in salary between men and women who hold the same positions. This commitment to equality is not just a policy but a core value that we uphold in every aspect of our operations. By ensuring that pay is based solely on role, experience, and performance, we aim to create a culture of fairness that transcends the broader tech market trends.

Our approach at Mobile Reality serves as a testament to the possibility of cultivating an inclusive and equitable tech workplace. It demonstrates that the gender pay gap, while a reality in the wider industry, can be effectively addressed and eliminated with conscious effort and commitment from leadership. This initiative not only contributes to a more motivated and satisfied workforce but also sets a standard for other companies to follow. By championing gender equality in pay, we not only address a fundamental issue of fairness but also contribute to the broader movement towards a more equitable and just society.

In summary, the contrast between the prevailing industry standards in Poland and the practices at Mobile Reality highlights the importance of intentional policies and leadership commitment to gender equality. By ensuring equal pay for equal work, we challenge the status quo and pave the way for a more inclusive future in the tech sector and beyond. This commitment to equity is a crucial step towards dismantling systemic barriers and ensuring that talent, not gender, determines one's professional value and compensation. And that's probably why we are recommended by almost every career center.

It all depends on the company's financial capability and job position.

Debunked by: Aneta Wodarz, HR Manager from Mobile Reality (tech company)


maternity leave women in it

At Mobile Reality, our approach to recruitment and hiring (starting with appropriate standards in our job offers on tech job boards) is firmly rooted in principles of equality and fairness. We staunchly believe that the qualifications, skills, and potential of a candidate should be the only factors influencing our hiring decisions, irrespective of the applicant's gender. Our commitment to maintaining a consistent and unbiased hiring process is unwavering, ensuring that every candidate, whether male or female, is evaluated based on the same criteria and standards. We consciously steer clear of intrusive and discriminatory questions, such as inquiring about an applicant's family planning intentions, recognizing such queries as not only inappropriate but as a blatant disregard for personal boundaries and professional ethics.

While we are cognizant of the value that diversity brings to a team, including gender diversity, we treat such considerations with care, ensuring they do not morph into rigid hiring quotas. The idea of achieving a gender-balanced team is indeed appealing, as diverse perspectives can enhance creativity, decision-making, and team dynamics. For instance, in scenarios where our team composition might lean heavily towards one gender, there's a natural inclination to consider how introducing a member of the underrepresented gender could contribute to the team's diversity. This consideration, however, is guided more by a desire to foster a rich, multifaceted work environment than by any mandatory diversity targets. Our priority remains to select the most qualified candidate for the job, with team diversity acting as a beneficial, yet secondary, consideration.

This nuanced approach to hiring underscores our broader commitment to creating an inclusive workplace where talent and professionalism are the primary metrics of evaluation. By doing so, we aim to not only uphold the highest standards of fairness and equality in our recruitment practices but also to contribute positively to the broader discourse on diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. Our goal is to model a work environment where every employee feels valued and respected, and where diversity is celebrated as a strength that enriches our collective experience and output.

In summary, Mobile Reality's recruitment philosophy is emblematic of our broader corporate values, emphasizing equality, respect for women and men and their boundaries, and the recognition of diversity as an asset. Through this approach, we are dedicated to building a team that reflects a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds, ultimately driving innovation and excellence in our work. Our commitment to these principles is not just about adhering to legal or ethical standards; it's about fostering a culture where everyone has the opportunity to succeed and contribute to our collective goals, regardless of gender.

Mother can be a valuable employee and it's worth allowing her to show her competencies.

Debunked by: Aneta Wodarz, HR Manager from Mobile Reality (tech company)


Entering the field of tech demands a certain level of dedication (especially for women), an eagerness to continuously learn, and an unwavering work ethic. This sector, known for its rapid pace and constant innovation, doesn't discriminate against women; it rewards ambition and the willingness to grow. Yet, despite this ostensibly open environment, women in tech—and indeed across all industries—face an uphill battle for recognition and respect. Women's journey is often marred by the need to repeatedly prove their competence as if their gender casts an unfair shadow of doubt over their professional capabilities. This ongoing struggle isn't rooted in a lack of skill or qualifications but is instead a consequence of deeply ingrained societal stereotypes.

The core issue at hand extends beyond the realms of knowledge or HR policies; it is fundamentally a matter of perception. The tech industry, particularly its leadership, needs to prioritize developing a culture of empathy, actively combat unconscious biases, and learn to appreciate the unique qualities and contributions of women. While progress has been made, the journey towards true equality and inclusivity is far from over. It's a path fraught with challenges, requiring a collective effort to dismantle the barriers that hinder women's advancement and recognition in the tech sector.

Disha Shah, a data processing specialist, offers poignant advice for women in tech navigating the complexities of the tech industry. She encourages a singular focus on personal and professional goals, advising women to sideline distractions, whether they be derogatory comments or instances of idea appropriation. Shah emphasizes the importance of self-belief and the pursuit of knowledge, suggesting that true empowerment and advancement come from within. According to her, the strength of a woman in tech lies in her expertise and her ability to leverage that knowledge to forge ahead, irrespective of the prevailing corporate culture.

Shah's counsel highlights a critical perspective: the women's journey in tech, or any field for that matter, is one of self-discovery, resilience, and personal growth. It's a reminder that, despite external challenges and societal biases, the pursuit of professional excellence and the development of women's and men's skills should remain paramount. This focus not only propels women forward in their tech careers but also serves as a beacon for change, inspiring the next generation of women in tech to break through the glass ceiling with confidence and competence. The road ahead may still hold many obstacles, but with determination, expertise, and a supportive community, women in tech and women, in general, can navigate this landscape, paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable industry.


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