Both genders are united in their views that women need support in the electronics/engineering industry.
This is one of the positive findings from the second annual survey of women in engineering published by electronics distribution company Element14.
The survey shows that inequality needs to be addressed, while also revealing that women around the world remain underrepresented in the industry and continue to experience various forms of sexism and discrimination.
Element14, in partnership with the online community of engineers, launched the survey in June 2022 to help shed light on the experiences of women in the engineering/electronics industry.
New questions covering discrimination, sexism, and equality have been added as these critical issues were cited as key areas in the 2021 survey analysis.
“The results of this year’s Global Women in Engineering survey were a strong indication of continued positive trends towards equal treatment of all genders,” says Diane Kibby, Global Head of Community and Social Media for Element14.
“Differences of opinion were expressed about the challenges women face in our industry, which can help employers understand what works well for women in the workplace and what can be improved.”
the main ideas
Key insights from the Global Survey of Women in Engineering included:
- Seventy percent (70%) of respondents said they would intervene upon seeing discrimination. However, the seniority of the person exhibiting discriminatory behavior was cited as the biggest obstacle to intervention. A small percentage thought they wouldn’t get involved because discrimination or sexism is part of the company’s culture.
- Women believed they were seen as less technically capable than men, but this view was not supported by male respondents.
- Men cited women’s “loss of career development opportunities” as a problem.
- Obviously, sexism and discrimination still exist, but the situation is improving. Twenty-five percent (25%) of respondents said they had never experienced sexism in the electronics/engineering industry.
- Other discrimination challenges indicated that some women held back other women in their career advancement, although the barrier was not as great as that of men. Self-promotion by women was highlighted as a key issue in this year’s survey, both in citing discrimination against them for not communicating their accomplishments positively versus the perception of them being “aggressive” when doing so.
- The two sexes think similarly about how to approach work-life balance, but pay is one area where there is a significant difference of opinion. Men are less likely to say they saw a pay differential, with 12% of men compared to more than 40% of females surveyed.
- All races share similar views on policy implementation. However, there was a combined decline in enthusiasm for inclusion and diversity initiatives from 40% in 2021 to nearly 25% in 2022.
- More than half of the respondents said that providing women with mentorship and development opportunities is important. Mentors are seen as the key to ensuring recognition by being advocates. More than three-quarters of the women felt mentoring helped them in their career.
The survey revealed several anecdotal success stories of women who have already achieved great things in the electronics/engineering industry, including:
- One woman cited the breakthrough achievement of securing a 233% increase in new business from a client. She commented, “I treated Google like a customer when I was in Inside Sales. Through hard work, high-level collaboration, and intense focus on value-added services…we grew their account from less than 30,000 to 1 million accounts over several years. It was a visit.” campus and connecting with these engineers in person during that time frame was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had.”
Another woman commented, “Twenty-seven years in engineering. I’m proud of that.”
- There was an overwhelming response from all genders encouraging women to be more confident, confident in their abilities, and take up the challenge of a career in engineering.
Some of the top drivers driving women to enjoy a career in engineering included the ability to work on diverse projects (25%), opportunities to get a preview of what’s coming next in technology and see it realized (16%), and the job. development (10%). Women’s choice to enjoy flexibility and work-life balance (21%) was significantly higher than in the 2021 results.
The 2022 survey matches trends revealed in the 2021 survey, highlighting positive steps the industry has taken, however, more needs to be done to eradicate sexism and ensure fairness for all.
Some real-world examples of sexism and discrimination shared as part of the survey included:
- “I was in a role where I was the only female, top performer, and yet I was being paid 20% less than the lowest paid guy on the team.”
- “The management told me before my first big conference to make sure I shop in the women’s section for event clothes and to ensure I dress more feminine.”
- “I have been asked to dress sexy when giving presentations of new business to executives.”
- “To be told by a teacher/professor on my course that I will not pass in engineering because I will be much better than men.”
- “Director-level opportunities are passed directly to a male colleague without advertising the role.”
Element14’s eight-week global survey was open to all genders working in electronics/engineering and was launched on International Women in Engineering Day (June 23).
Most respondents to this year’s survey (75%) were from Europe and North America with more requests received from Asia Pacific, Central and South America, China, the Middle East and Africa.