Laura Lamolla & Ana M. González Ramos (2020) Tick-tock sounds different for women working in IT areas, Community, Work & Family, 23:2, 125-140, DOI: 10.1080/13668803.2018.1483321

Women represent over the half of university graduates in Spain. However, the percentage of women graduating with degrees in Computing and Engineering drops to 23% (European Commission. [2016. She figures. Brussels: Directorate-General for Research and Innovation]). Women are a minority in the workplace in the IT sector, despite it being one of the most dynamic industries with a positive future outlook. Existent literature highlights that women face a variety of barriers that can impede their progress in the workplace, mainly related to work–life conflicts. However, the attempts carried out thus far to improve women’s work–life balance have had little effect in this sector, where the numbers lag behind those of other sectors. The reasons behind those numbers must be understood. In this sense, this study aims to gain a deeper understanding of work/personal lives of women in IT sectors throughout the course of their lives. The results obtained from a tailor-made survey in Spain show that women working in IT are very work-oriented and committed to their careers and have fewer conflicts regarding work–life balance than was expected. It was in fact age, income and perception of gender discrimination that stood out as significant variables that may explain the difficulties encountered. In light of this, flexible work policies are not enough to increase the number of women in IT, and we suggest actions that could serve to fight stereotypes regarding gender and age in the workplace.