According to a new study by Catalyst, women are actively opting out – not out of the workforce – but specifically tech-intensive industries.
Canvassing responses from nearly 6,000 MBA graduates working in business roles from 2007 to 2014 across industries globally, the report found that only 18% of women opted for a business role in a tech-intensive industry, immediately after completion of their MBA, compared to 24% of men.
Additionally, women MBAs who did join the tech industry after graduating were significantly more likely than men to leave and take a position in another industry (women, 53%; men, 31%).
The reason? A gender gap in pay and position right from the start of their appointments, the report highlighted.
It stated that women were significantly more likely than men to start in an entry-level position (55% compared to 39%), among those who took their first post-MBA job in a business role at a tech-intensive industry.
In addition, the difference in seniority of positions led to women being paid less than their male counterparts.
Women also cited feeling like outsiders as an important reason for leaving the industry - in fact, they were more than three times as likely as men to feel like outsiders (women, 73%; men, 17%).
Female employees in tech-intensive industries were also significantly less likely to report they could identify with someone at work, as compared to women in other industries (27% versus 49%).
“Women remain in the minority throughout the pipeline in tech-intensive organisations today, even women in business roles,” the report stated.
“Overwhelmingly, they feel like they don’t belong. Research has shown that feeling like an outsider has a detrimental impact on performance and can lead people to leave the organisation,” the report stated.