Brazilian women in IT negatively impacted by remote working

Some female tech professionals believe operating from home during the Covid-19 pandemic fosters gender equality in the sector, but the majority struggles to balance domestic tasks and work, a new study has found.

Brazilian women working in the technology field are divided over the benefits of remote working arrangements during the pandemic, but most female professionals are faced with significant additional strain when operating in the domestic environment in the Covid-19 pandemic, a new study has found.

According to a study carried out by Arlington Research on behalf of cybersecurity firm Kaspersky which has surveyed 13,000 women and men in the IT sector globally, nearly half of the Brazilian female tech professionals (48%) surveyed believe that working from home has been helpful in terms of fostering gender equality in the workplace.

SEE: Working from home: The future of business is remote (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Working from home: How to get remote right (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

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The study has also found that 42,6% of the female IT professionals polled prefer to work from home rather than the office. Moreover, 45% believe the remote working arrangement also provides more autonomy at work.

On the other hand, some 40,4% of the Brazilian women working in IT surveyed believe that the circumstances imposed by Covid-19 hindered their career prospects rather than improving them. In addition, 46% of the respondents said they have struggled to balance work and domestic tasks: some 67,6% of those polled stated they are mainly responsible for chores around the house, compared to 47,6% of men.

Moreover, 78% of Brazilian women working in technology said they are responsible for home schooling, compared to 56% of men. Almost half (46%) of the female professionals surveyed stated they needed to make significant adjustments to their routine in relation to their male partners.

Female participation in the IT industry in Brazil has grown 60% from 27.900 professionals active in the sector in 2014 to 44.500 in 2019, according to government data on employed and unemployed professionals.

However, women still represent only 20% of the country's technology professionals and 21% of technology teams in Brazil have no female representation, according to the Brazilian Association of Information Technology Companies (Brasscom). That is despite the predictions from Brazil's Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea) that women should outpace men in terms of participation in the Brazilian workforce in the next decade.