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Technology still plagued by sexism: Less than half of workers would report a sexist incident

A shamefully high proportion of women working in the technology sector have either witnessed or experienced sexism in the workplace, according to a new survey released by Crunch.

The report also shows that men's and women's attitudes to sexism are still starkly different.

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While 71 per cent of women involved in the research identified sexism as a problem in the IT sector, only 53 per cent of men did the same. Twice the amount of men (28 per cent) as women (14 per cent) didn't think that sexism was an issue in the technology sector at all.

Meanwhile, 43 per cent of women said that they had witnessed or experienced sexism in the workplace, compared to 29 per cent of men.

Interestingly, less than half (45 per cent) of the 500 IT sector workers involved in the survey said that they would report an incident of sexist behaviour to management. 29 per cent said they wouldn't while 26 per cent weren't sure.

"There is a serious shortage of skilled tech workers in this country and yet we may be discouraging half the potential candidates from a sustained career in this industry with outdated sexism," said Laurence Barry, the development manager at Crunch. "It is a problem that the entire industry needs to address. That needs to start with all tech workers, male and female, taking responsibility for reporting and responding to any sexism they experience in the workplace and with managers treating it as a serious problem.

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"We also need more women in STEM education at all levels, so that the tech industries are recruiting higher numbers of female STEM graduates. This leads to a virtuous circle, because the more women we have in technology the more we see how false that gender gap is and we break down those barriers."

The report used data gathered between 1-22 July 2014.

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Newsweek, and ITProPortal.