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In 2003, Catalyst released Bit by Bit: Catalyst’s Guide to Advancing Women in High Tech Companies, which revealed a number of barriers facing women in the high-technology industry. In particular, women and men participating in the study discussed the failure of high-tech companies to identify and develop women’s talent. Fueled by this finding, in 2005, Catalyst partnered with ISR (subsequently Towers Perrin-ISR), a global survey company, to undertake a study to more fully address and understand women’s talent management within technology companies. Catalyst also fielded a subsequent study to examine drivers of satisfaction, retention, and advancement.
The study’s first phase focused on talent management among women and men in high-tech companies. The second phase surveyed women working in technical roles at non-tech companies and women working in any role at high-tech companies. The purpose of this second phase was to hear directly from women about their careers and how their work experiences related to job satisfaction, talent management, and advancement. This phase yielded data on actionable steps organizations can take to more fully involve, satisfy, develop, and advance women employees. This report furthers Catalyst’s previous research on women in the high-tech industry by summarizing the findings from both phases of this project. It sheds light on important issues facing companies by providing data related to women’s perception of:
- Supervisory relationships.
- Fairness and voice within their companies.
- Development and training opportunities, as well as career planning.
- Barriers to career advancement.
- Generational differences among women in the technology workforce.
- Equal opportunity and diversity.
- Opportunities within their companies related to the type of company in which they work.
By examining these topics, Catalyst gauged women’s overall satisfaction and engagement with their jobs and their companies. This study comes at a critical time for all companies seeking to attract and retain top-quality talent. As the job market in technology has become increasingly competitive, companies must provide a work environment where women can flourish and succeed. This report helps companies identify areas where they should increase focus and attention and gives them the feedback necessary to make change for women within their organizations.