Almost half (43 per cent) of female students and young professionals said they feel technology companies don’t really want to hire women, according to a survey by SAP Canada Inc.

It also found 54 per cent of survey respondents said technology companies have a bad reputation when it comes to gender equality and 48 per cent said they don’t know how to develop the skills required for a career in technology.

Read: Editorial: We are woman: A call for gender diversity, pay equity and workplace mentorship

About a third (35 per cent) of those polled said they’ve chosen science, technology, engineering and mathematics for future studies and/or their career. However, among that group, 34 per cent said they don’t have a female role model in the field.

The survey also highlighted the regional differences in the perceptions of STEM programs and technology. Among the respondents who opted not to pursue a career in STEM, 46 per cent in Saskatchewan and Manitoba did so because they don’t believe they have the skills for the field, while 16 per cent of respondents in Quebec felt the same.

“Young women are hesitating on even considering a career in technology because they don’t believe technology companies sincerely want to give them a chance,” said Kim Gastle, vice-president of SAP Canada, in a press release. “We want to shine a light on this issue and raise this concern because we recognize that a well-rounded workforce brings together stronger ideas. When we have diversity in our teams, we can reflect our customers better, come up with a greater mix of ideas and spur innovation.”

Read: Scotiabank looks to employee data to tackle gender diversity

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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