Health insurance is the No. 1 priority for more than 68% of women in the tech industry over vacation time, raises and retirement plans
Girls in tech just want to have healthcare funds.
A new workplace report from Indeed.com found that more than 68% of women with tech jobs want healthcare benefits more than they want time off, bonuses, regular raises and retirement planning.
The job search site conducted a study of 1,000 women in the tech industry, a field that has struggled with diversity and inclusion issues, and found that only 76% of women in tech receive health insurance through their employers. What’s more, just 32.5% report their companies offer parental leave, and of that number, 69% say their companies provide paid leave, 14% work for companies that don’t, and 17% of women don’t know whether their leave is paid or not.
But having parental leave isn’t useful if employees don’t feel comfortable taking advantage of it: A whopping 83% of respondents who had children while employed at their current tech companies said they felt some level of pressure to return to work during their maternity leave. Thirty-eight percent cited fear of losing credibility or value at the company; an alarming 34% said the pressure was coming directly from colleagues or managers to return to work; and 32% fear they’ll lose their jobs. The most common length for maternity leave reported in the study was between one and two months. In the US, The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 entitles new parents to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave, though it is sometimes a combination of paid and unpaid time off a most companies. (And, it’s worth noting, according to the International Labor Organization, the US and Papua New Guinea are the only countries in the world that don’t guarantee paid leave).
Paid parental leave for new parents is a hot button issue that many leading tech firms are starting to address. In 2015, Facebook announced it would offer four months of paid parental leave to every full-time employee of the company. Other tech firms like Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft and Adobe have also made improvements to their leave policies in recent years. Still, paid parental leave in the U.S. remains a rarity, with only 12% of private sector workers
having access to it, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
To give women in tech more insight on which companies provide good health benefits and parental leave, Indeed.com has partnered with three employer review websites that focus on inclusiveness in the workplace: FairyGodBoss, InHerSight and Comparably. They’ll provide information through its Company Pages so women can evaluate diversity and inclusiveness of employers in the tech industry.
Aside from health care, the study also broke down other priorities for women in tech. More than half (52%) of women chose vacation time; 46% of respondents want bonuses and regular raises; 37% selected regular time off; and just 26% cited retirement planning. These priorities changed slightly when the results were broken down by generation. For example, vacation time was most significant to Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers, with more than 55%.
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