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Challenges, Experiences, and Salaries: Unveiling the Landscape for Women in Polish IT

CAREERSChallenges, Experiences, and Salaries: Unveiling the Landscape for Women in Polish IT

Almost three times more female IT specialists believe that it is harder for women to start a career in this industry. Only 60 percent of female specialists have not experienced discouragement regarding their IT career, compared to 75 percent of men. Discouraging comments most often came from their own mothers. Women negotiate the amount of the offered salary less frequently during recruitment, and much less frequently it leads to an increase in their salary. For the fifth time, No Fluff Jobs has analysed the situation of women employed in the IT sector in Poland.

An incredible 79 percent of female specialists working in the IT industry admit that they have experienced the imposter syndrome, a psychological phenomenon characterised by a lack of self-belief despite external evidence to the contrary, according to the latest “Women in IT” report. this report was prepared annually by No Fluff Jobs, a Polish job advertisement portal that has been setting recruitment standards for 10 years. Among IT specialists, a significantly smaller, but still substantial percentage – 62 percent, has experienced imposter syndrome. The report is partnered with Schneider Electric.

Most female specialists in this industry started their careers by changing their fields – 41.7 percent, while 37.4 percent entered the profession after graduating in computer science or related fields. This proportion is inverse for male specialists – 50.4 percent started working in IT after major studies and 23.3 percent underwent a field transition process.

In Poland, the percentage of women studying computer science is increasing, but currently, it is only 15 percent. According to research, girls start to be interested in STEM subjects at the age of 11-12, but this interest drastically drops at the age of 15-16.

Only 60 percent of female specialists surveyed by No Fluff Jobs admit that they were never discouraged from studying in the IT field (75 percent among men). Those who faced discouragement most often heard such words from their own mothers (10.3 percent), people on online forums or groups (9.7 percent) and teachers (9 percent). The most memorable statements were:

– This is not a profession for women / it’s a man’s world (38.5 percent indications),
– You should do something easier / it’s too difficult for you (37.9 percent indications),
– You have too little knowledge and skills (35.2 percent indications),
– You won’t manage, you are not suitable (30.2 percent indications).

In the No Fluff Jobs survey, almost three times more female than male respondents stated that it is more difficult for women than men to enter the IT industry. Among specialists in the industry, 26 percent believe that men are better predisposed for work in IT than women. The same opinion is held by 13.7 percent of women.

One common experience among most women and men working in IT is that a similar percentage admitted that they once priced their work below the market average (62.4 percent of women and 60.2 percent of men). However, men negotiate their salary more often during recruitment (57.9 percent compared to 45.7 percent of women) and much more often obtain a higher salary than originally offered (42.5 percent compared to only 28.7 percent of women). A staggering ⅓ of female IT specialists are convinced they earn less than men at the same position and with the same level of experience.

The most surveyed female IT specialists declared that they earn 4.4-6.6 thousand PLN net or 6.6-8.8 thousand PLN net monthly – 18.6 percent each. Between 8.8 and 11 thousand PLN net gets 15.1 percent respondents. Below 4.4 thousand PLN net earns 10.1 percent, and above 22 thousand PLN net – 6.7 percent.

The reasons for changing jobs among female IT specialists most commonly were attempts to obtain higher income (51.3 percent responses), better development possibilities (46.2 percent), not receiving a pay rise or its unsatisfactory amount (30.7 percent), and a more suitable organisational culture in the new place (29.8 percent). Being dismissed from work was the reason for 11.3 percent.

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