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According to a new report from the digital learning company Skillsoft, 86% of women in tech see professional development as being extremely or very important, but less than half say their employer offers this as a benefit.

Through a survey of 1,100 female tech professionals, the data reveal a significant learning and development (L&D) disconnect between women and employers. In fact, nearly one-third of women point to a lack of training as the biggest challenge they’ve faced in pursuing a tech-related career.

While Skillsoft found that equal pay and work-life balance remain top challenges, limited access to L&D poses yet another barrier to women’s advancement. And with more than 2.4 million women having left the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, this finding reinforces the need for employers to actively elevate and support their female employees. Skillsoft’s report also found that 34% of men working remotely with children at home during the pandemic received a promotion, as compared to only 9% of women in the same situation.

Bar graph. Prompt: "What challenges, if any, have you faced pursuing a tech-related career?" 38% said lack of equity in pay, 36% said lack of work-life balance, 33% say lack of equity in opportunities, 32% say lack of professional development / training opportunities, 25% said lack of diversity, 23% say lack of inclusion, 17% say harassment, 16% said none, and 1% said other.

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, women see training as being crucial to moving up the corporate ladder and increasing their annual compensation. When asked how earning certifications helped advance their tech careers, 52% of women reported experiencing more responsibility, 34% earned a raise, 32% received a promotion, and 26% earned a bonus.

At the same time, another recent report from Skillsoft found that 76% of organizations currently face skills gaps in their IT departments. With Skillsoft finding that women are most interested in training and earning certifications in critical tech areas with large skill gaps such as business analysis, cybersecurity, AI and machine learning, and leadership and management, a ripe opportunity exists for employers to better support the advancement of female employees while simultaneously strengthening their talent pool.

Read the full report by Skillsoft.

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