How Women Can Get Better Advancement in IT


The Attack

One thing that women can do is to arrange to meet the boss and to harangue him in an angry fashion about his, and the company’s sexism, and the company’s discriminatory policies against women.

This might work, but again it may not. It may get women promoted, but perhaps not you, which is the main point of the exercise.

Better Way

A better way might be to gather your facts together and present them to your boss in a reasonable manner.

Have facts about the average pay in IT for women, and the average pay in IT for men. If you can get the information, get the average pay for men at your own IT department and the average pay for women. If you can’t get it, ask your boss to provide it as part of your argument. Collating it may help to convince them.

Subconscious Discrimination

There is unlikely to be conscious and overt discrimination against women in your IT department (although there might be).

It is more likely that your bosses have a mental picture of the type of person that is right for the job and the characteristics that they possess.

Because, historically, the main people in senior positions have been male, that is the subconscious picture that the chiefs at your place have of the correct candidate.

Also, if they are looking for leadership qualities, although they are not deliberately excluding women, those characteristics are more likely to be found in one of the men at your place, in their estimation.

Changing the Perception

The best way to get promoted is to try to change the perception of what is needed for the job, and by presenting the bald facts and appealing to your boss’s sense of fair play.

Very few bosses or companies want to be thought of as having a discriminatory policy, although the facts on average pay would appear to suggest the opposite. Your boss is likely to be very surprised when you present the facts.

Perhaps you think that you shouldn’t have to argue for something that is your right. However, it is always best to try the placatory method first, before going onto a full flight attack on your boss (which seldom works).