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Survey: 38% of women in tech say their looks have been ‘inappropriately commented on’

A new report on discrimination in the tech industry from technology career website Dice shows that women have to deal with a lot more than just getting the job done at work. The research found that 38% of American women in this field say that their looks have been “inappropriately commented on” at work and 85% of women and 62% of men working in this industry agree that gender discrimination in tech is real — and it continues to manifest in various ways.

Dice took a survey of 3,933 employees who were “U.S. and U.K. registered users and visitors of Dice and eFinancialCareers.” In terms of the gender breakdown, “more than 1,200 men and 500 women” participated.

Here’s how tech workers feel about discrimination based on gender, age and sexual orientation at work.

The kinds of discrimination tech employees face in the office

These are the types of discrimination that tech workers say have either happened to them or they’ve seen while “at their current or most recent” job.

  • Gender: 21%
  • Sexual Orientation: 6%
  • Age: 29%
  • Political Affiliation: 11%

It’s clear that this treatment comes in various forms.

Kristina Yarrington, VP of Marketing for Dice, commented on the research in a statement.

“Every company today should be thinking about its diversity program and considering the immense benefit to their organization when they are inclusive,” she said. “Tech professionals say it’s an important factor when considering working for a company and with the highly competitive tech recruitment landscape today, neglecting this important program can mean the difference between maintaining a competitive advantage in all parts of business, or falling behind.”

The research also showed that 79% of men and 59% of women overall “would recommend” the workplace they’re presently in, but if they saw discrimination, these numbers would shift to 58% of men and 42% of women.

How women in tech are faring

While two-thirds of American women surveyed agreed that no one paid attention to their ideas until men “repeated” them, the survey found that “more than half of women were talked over/interrupted in a meeting and assigned low-level tasks within their groups.”

Eleven percent “were told” that they got the position because they’re women. While 63% think that no change will come this year, two-thirds think that women aren’t “equally represented” at the top of their companies.

How people of different ages are doing

Many older people are worried that their age will stand in the way of future employment. Here’s the age breakdown:

  • 30-35: 23%
  • 36-39: 43%
  • 40-45: 62%
  • 46-49: 79%
  • 50-55: 88%

The research also found that  76% of those surveyed agreed that ageism is present in the international technology industry. Additionally, 31% of millennials, 40% of people in Generation X and 68% of Baby Boomers “feel discouraged” while applying for positions because of how old they are.

How the LGBTQ community is faring

The survey showed that while 71% of heterosexual people and 66% of those in the LBGTQ community agreed that they were “likely” to report sexual orientation discrimination, 15% of the former and 40% of the latter think this kind of prejudice exists at work in the first place.

Dice also found that while 90% of heterosexual people said they were “comfortable” talking about their sexual orientation in the office, 62% of people in the LBGTQ community said they were.

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