Macho Cultures Driving Women Away

Human Resources Executive picks up on a study first reported in HBR in summer, 2008 that finds that women are leaving (or being driven from) science, engineering and technology positions in high numbers.
"Over time, some 52 percent of women working for SET companies have quit their jobs as a result of hostile work environments and extreme job pressures, according to the Athena Factor...

Hewlett and her team identified several of what they called the antigens in SET corporate cultures. They include hostile macho cultures, created by the male-dominated lab coat, hard hat and "geek" workplace environments, which exclude women or intimidate them through sexual harassment; isolation, in which a woman finds herself as the lone scientist or researcher on a team or site; and the systems of risk and reward, whereby women have trouble taking risks, often due to feeling a lack of support or mentoring.

"All these issues are interrelated," says Hewlett, "and very powerful when it comes to work/life balance issues: These are extreme jobs in which the average working week can be 73 hours, and women are also dealing with home and family issues. I think that cuts women to the core."

A February study on Women in Technology by Catalyst had similar findings.
"Women in technology were less likely than other employees to perceive that their companies had strong approaches to fairness and voice, with such things as advancement, promotion and salary," the study states."
To find out which companies are taking steps to address these problems and what the steps are, read the article here.

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