The difference is already noticed at the universities when it comes to engineering, IT or any studies associated with new technologies. There are still not enough women studying there, even if this number slightly increased lately. Also stereotypes regarding the perception of certain group of occupations as typically male are still present, though increasingly less. Report “Women and IT" prepared by Carrots Foundation shows that there are 3.4 women per 10 men employed in the IT industry is. One-third of Todis Consulting, implementation partner of the world’s leading business IT solutions’ vendors, employees are women. This coincides with the result of the report. On the other hand, the report "Women in technology – the presence of women in Polish IT system” created in 2016 by the Institute of Innovative Economy (IIG) shows that "there are only 48 women out of total number of 452 highest management positions in Polish IT sector. This is little more than 10% of top management. There are only 9 women (5%) in this sector who are holding position of President of the Management Board". In this case Todis Company, whose CEO is a woman, is in following new trends minority.
On the other hand, there is a growing conviction that mixed teams, comprised of women and men, are more innovative. Several concrete examples show that their work makes a positive contribution to productivity and creativity. This has been influenced by, inter alia, women soft powers, such as the wider perception of the situation, effectiveness in peaceful troubleshooting with their simultaneous high-level IT qualifications. There is a strongly optimistic trend showing that an increasing need of managing diversity in teams can be observed by the IT companies. Shortages of skilled professionals on the market as well as rather negative forecast certainly have an impact on it. There is also exchange of positive experience. Although there are still less women than men in the IT industry, for several years constant increase in their number is noticeable both in employment, especially in large companies, as well at the universities. Employers value competences, irrespective of gender. Many new technology and communication market leading companies already undertake action in order to prevent any possible negative future effects of the shortage of qualified staff. They introduce different types of projects and women professional development programs in STEM* industry in their structures, while closely monitoring the results of the above activities. Moreover, employers, somewhat forced by the situation on the market, no longer pay that much importance to technical education and put more emphasis on hobbies, self-education, trainings etc.
Melanie Lawn, Senior Director of Customer Success and Global Support EMEA for Deltek, thinks that "(…) a lot of women view technology as being rather corporate and rigid (…). Therefore there needs to be more communication from our industry to highlight the flexibility, creativity and variety of roles that are available which will ultimately help to break down those preconceived ideas (…). This industry is one of the most flexible (…)".
Conclusions emerging from observation of the market trends indicate inter alia the need of continuity of changing perceptions of a certain group of occupations as typically male already at the level of education. It is extremely important to identify barriers arising not only from the stereotypical thinking, but also from social and societal issues such as nurseries in working areas, part-time or remote work possibilities as well as flexible working time offered by employers, remote capabilities as well as part-time or flexible working time. Although increase in the employment of women in IT industry is noticeable, in the perspective of the growing scarcity of specialists in the market, women are still very much of potential and source of skilled workers.
*STEM – science, technology, engineering, mathematics