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Study: Room to grow for employers of women in tech

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The employment picture for southwest Missouri women working in the technology industry has key shortcomings, according to a newly released study.

Springfield-based consulting firm Habitat Communication & Culture conducted the research titled "Tech Workplace Survey: A Research Summary of Tech Worker Experiences and Attitudes in Southwest Missouri." It was commissioned by Springfield Women in Tech and Springfield Tech Council, according to a news release, and included surveys from more than 360 local respondents and focus groups with southwest Missouri women who currently work in tech.

The key findings include:
• Nearly 55% of male respondents earn over $100,000 annually, compared with 30% of women.
• Women report more interest in, but less access to, professional development opportunities, such as mentorships.
• Nearly 46% of women say they've experienced discrimination, compared with 16% of men.
• Of those surveyed, the top desired benefits are profit sharing, at 40%, stock options, at 30%, paid parental leave, at 22%, and wellness perks, at 20%.
• Around 58% of women surveyed feel a strong sense of commitment to their organization, compared with 61% for men.
• Both women and men surveyed have a positive work-life balance, at roughly 64% for women and around 66% for men.
• Some 64% of female respondents said women are well represented in leadership at their current employers, compared with 73% for men.

“With the tech talent shortage felt acutely in our region, it’s more important than ever that employers understand how to attract and retain women in these critical roles,” said Maranda Provance, board member with Springfield Women in Tech, in the release. “This research provides data-driven insights employers can use to make their workplaces more equitable, diverse and ultimately more productive.”

The fully study is available here.

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