By Daniel Hunter

Almost half of women in the tech or IT industries have witnessed or experienced sexism in the workplace, a new survey released today (Wednesday) by online accounting firm Crunch reveals.

The survey suggests that sexism is entrenched in the tech and IT working environment, with 71% of female workers labelling it an industry issue.

Asked male and female tech staff about their experiences relating to sexism and gender discrimination.

More than half (51%) of female respondents described the workplace sexism problem as ’moderate’ or ‘extreme’. In contrast, only 32% of their male colleagues agreed the issue is so widespread.

Despite its prevalence, sexism in tech remains largely unreported. Less than half (45%) of respondents said they would report a sexist act to management. Twenty-nine percent say they would leave the issue unreported, while 26% said they were unsure if they would take the issue further.

Laurence Barry, development manager at Crunch Accounting, said: "There is a serious shortage of skilled tech workers in this country and yet we may be discouraging half the potential candidates from a sustained career in this industry with outdated sexism. It is a problem that the entire industry needs to address. That needs to start with all tech workers, male and female, taking responsibility for reporting and responding to any sexism they experience in the workplace and with managers treating it as a serious problem.

“We also need more women in STEM education at all levels, so that the tech industries are recruiting higher numbers of female STEM graduates. This leads to a virtuous circle, because the more women we have in technology the more we see how false that gender gap is and we breakdown those barriers.”

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