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Women MBAs Working in the Information Technology Industry See Opportunity

Most are more satisfied with career prospects than male counterparts

Women MBAs working in the IT industry—more than their male counterparts in IT and more than their female counterparts in non-tech fields—are very satisfied with both their current positions and job opportunities, according to a Catalyst study released today. Ninety-one percent of women MBAs surveyed report high levels of satisfaction in their current jobs, compared to 82% of men MBAs in IT and 84% of women MBAs in other industries .

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What’s more, these survey respondents say they are positive about their visibility with top management (82%), the support of their colleagues (74%) and the helpful performance feedback they receive (59%).

These women are nearly twice as likely to work in marketing and sales than women MBAs working in other industries and 60% of them work at large corporations of annual sales of $1 billion or more. As companies grow, the ability to manage people and systems—the presumed forte of business school graduates —is touted as increasingly needed in the IT industry. With functions such as these becoming increasingly vital in this hyper-competitive industry, Catalyst undertook this study to shed light on the career expectations, values and experiences of women and men MBAs working in the IT field.

"MBA grads in tech see their organizations as a fertile work environment for personal development. This coupled with the huge demand for talent, translates into opportunity for the women in this growing industry, as well as for the companies seeking their talent," said Sheila Wellington, president of Catalyst. "This study provides the IT industry with the opportunity to continue to leverage the things that are working well and to re-examine the workplace elements that can be improved upon."

Of the respondents, 47% are women and 53% are men. The average age for women is 39, and 40 for men. While 70% of the men have children, only 46% of the women do. The majority of women (89%) have spouses who work full-time, compared to men, of whom less than half, 46% have spouses who are employed full-time in the labor force.

This study was sponsored by IBM Corporation, Pfizer Inc, and Texas Instruments and represents a secondary analysis of the Catalyst research project, entitled Women and the MBA: Gateway to Opportunity, published in May 2000 in conjunction with the University of Michigan Business School. Of the original survey respondents, 16% (276) are currently employed in the IT industry.

Catalyst is the nonprofit research and advisory organization working to advance women in business. Its dual mission is to enable professional women to achieve their maximum potential and to help employers capitalize fully on the talents of their female employees. For more information about Catalyst, visit our Web site at www.catalystwomen.org or call 212-514-7600.