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Women in technology are finding more opportunities online than on-site, demonstrating the rise of skilled female professionals and their impact on economic and social change, according to a global survey by online work platform Elance.com.
According to a survey of 7,000 global independent professionals, 80% of respondents say they’re optimistic about the future of high-tech professions for women even though a majority still sees a lag in pay equality and encouragement from teachers and parents.
“For women in tech, online work is a level playing field where merit and results win,” said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. “Online work provides an attractive avenue to neutralize gender discrimination around the world and create flexible professional opportunities not available in traditional job markets.”
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Seventy-four percent of women questioned stated that online work provides more opportunities to succeed in technology careers over traditional on-site work. The perks of online work appeal to women for many reasons, says Elance.com:
– Women want intellectual challenge: 65% of women who work online say the diversity of projects provides them with more learning opportunities and aides in strengthening their skill sets.
– Women are multi-taskers: 60% of women say online work enables them to easily manage their personal and professional lives.
– Women need choices: Online work allows simple and realistic opportunities to work with multiple clients, and 60% of women say it’s easier than competing for a full-time job.
Women citex the following as key factors to closing the technology gender gap: offering equal pay to men and women with the same skillsets (66%), receiving more inspiration from parents and teachers at a young age (55%), dispelling the stereotypes that boys are better than girls in mathz and science (49%), mentoring support for women (47%) and seeing more women in technology role models (47%).
Despite top barriers – including a lack of female role models or encouragement to pursue jobs in technology (45%) and few job opportunities in the local economy (34%) – the majority of women (80%) remain optimistic about the future success of women in technology, with 32% saying they are extremely optimistic. In fact, women stated that they plan to acquire new technology skill sets in the next year including website design (36%), web programming (29%) and mobile app development (22%). In addition, more than 78% of respondents already conduct over three-quarters of their freelance work online, and look to online work as an escape from traditional work barriers.