University of California Study Finds an Unwelcoming Environment for Women of Color in the Tech Workplace

A new report from scholars at the University of California Hastings College of Law in San Francisco found that sexism is astonishingly omnipresent in today’s technology workplaces: 90 percent of women of color in tech said they experienced at least some sexism. More than two thirds of the women of color in the survey reported being mistaken for administrative assistants or custodial staff.

Nearly 80 percent of women of color in the survey reported having to alter their appearance or demeanor to fit in at work. Some 95 percent of women of color in the survey said they needed to prove themselves over and over to get the same recognition that’s conferred automatically on others. Women of color were more likely to report being interrupted (17.9 percentage points higher than White women) and more likely to get negative reactions to justified anger (13.3 percentage points higher).

Over two-thirds of the women of color in the study reported some form of sexual harassment. Nearly one quarter reported unwanted physical contact, and almost 10 percent reported having lost opportunities like promotions or career-enhancing assignments due to sexual harassment.

Women of color’s experiences of bias were associated with being 37.6 percentage points less likely than White women to report that they could see a long-term future for themselves at the organization and 16.4 percentage points more likely to report that they have left or considered leaving a company because of its culture.

The full report, Pinning Down the Jellyfish: The Workplace Experiences of Women of Color in Tech, may be downloaded here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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