Genders differ on IT's glass ceiling

Men and women disagree on the presence of a glass ceiling in the IT industry, a new survey has found.

The survey of 1500 IT employees, by Roper Starch Worldwide for Deloitte & Touche and Deloitte Consulting, found 62 per cent of women believe there is a glass ceiling while 62 per cent of men do not.

Highlighting the difference in gender perceptions in the industry, women link success to skill, access to female mentors and education while men attribute it to the prosperous economy of the past 10 years.

Andrew Ogbourne, Scholastic Australia IT manager, said high quality people of either gender can succeed in the industry but mediocre managers are more likely to succeed if they are male.

"I know (personally and by reputation) several senior and influential female IT executives who have obviously succeeded and deservedly so. On the other hand, I do know quite a few senior male IT executives who probably don't warrant their success but I couldn't say the same about females," Ogbourne said.

More than 50 per cent of women surveyed believe there is greater gender equality in IT than in other industries, although they remain much less convinced than men (75 per cent).

Moreover, women feel there is a long way to go before their gender will achieve financial equality.

Only 29 per cent of women said there is equal pay for equal work in the IT industry, but 55 per cent of men thinks equal pay prevails.

A CIO from a national insurance company, who requested anonymity, said the glass ceiling doesn't exist but "in some cases women need to show similar behavioural traits as men to get ahead".

"But hang in there sister; having started in the IT industry nearly 30 years ago, with a recent sojourn in the business, I have seen a noticeable change for the better," she said.

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