SOURCE: Elance


April 23, 2013 09:00 ET

Global Survey Finds Online Work Key Advantage for Women in Technology Sector

74 Percent of Women Say Online Work Elevates Socioeconomic Status in Technology; 80 Percent Are Optimistic About Career Growth in Tech Industry

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 23, 2013) - Elance, the leading online work platform, reports that women in technology are finding more opportunities online than on-site -- demonstrating the rise of skilled female professionals and their impact on economic and social change. According to a survey of 7,000 global independent professionals, 80% of respondents say they're optimistic about the future of high-tech professions for women even though a majority still sees a lag in pay equality and encouragement from teachers and parents.

"For women in tech, online work is a level playing field where merit and results win," said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. "Online work provides an attractive avenue to neutralize gender discrimination around the world and create flexible professional opportunities not available in traditional job markets."

Flexibility and Family Key Drivers for Career Choices
Many women today are looking for a professional path that can give them the freedom to set their own priorities, including work-life balance, along with the satisfaction of career success. Seventy-four percent of women state that online work provides more opportunities to succeed in technology careers over traditional on-site work. The perks of online work appeal to women for many reasons:

  • Women want intellectual challenge: 65% of women who work online say the diversity of projects provides them with more learning opportunities and aides in strengthening their skill sets.
  • Women are multi-taskers: 60% of women say online work enables them to easily manage their personal and professional lives.
  • Women need choices: Online work allows simple and realistic opportunities to work with multiple clients, and 60% of women say it's easier than competing for a full-time job.

"After taking five years off to focus on my family, I knew reentering the tech workforce would be difficult because this sector moves at lightning speed," said Heidi Vanyo, a software developer based in Blaine, MN and owner of Solutions by Heidi, LLC. "Instead of seeking a traditional full-time job, I opted for online employment on Elance due to the flexibility it provides me as a working mom. Within a few months, I was able to build up my web development portfolio and work with a variety of businesses around the world."

Mission Possible: Closing the Tech Gender Gap
The technology industry may be dominated by men, but women play an increasingly larger role in growth and innovation by businesses. According to a recent study, women do not have the same access as men to professional opportunities or encouragement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education -- but more progress is necessary. In the Elance survey, women cite the following as key factors to closing the technology gender gap: offering equal pay to men and women with the same skillsets (66%), receiving more inspiration from parents and teachers at a young age (55%), dispelling the stereotypes that boys are better than girls in math and science (49%), mentoring support for women (47%) and seeing more women in technology role models (47%).

Lean In: Bright Future for Women in Technology
Despite top barriers -- including a lack of female role models or encouragement to pursue jobs in technology (45%) and few job opportunities in the local economy (34%) -- the majority of women (80%) remain optimistic about the future success of women in technology, with 32% saying they are extremely optimistic. In fact, women stated that they plan to acquire new technology skill sets in the next year including website design (36%), web programming (29%) and mobile app development (22%). In addition, more than 78% of respondents already conduct over three-quarters of their freelance work online, and look to online work as an escape from traditional work barriers.

About the Survey
Elance conducted this online survey from March 12-21, 2013, with more than 7,000 global freelance professionals participating. Click here to view the full survey results.

About Elance
Elance is where people Work Differently™. A pioneer in today's freelance revolution, Elance is the world's leading platform for online work.

Today over 500,000 businesses and 2 million freelancers use Elance in 170+ countries. Innovative global enterprises, small businesses and startups tap into the Elance talent pool, building teams from software engineers, application developers and web and graphic designers to copywriters, market researchers, data scientists, social media marketers, customer service agents and other business professionals. More than 1 million freelance jobs are completed through Elance annually.

Headquartered in Mountain View, California and Oslo, Norway, Elance is a privately-held company. For more information, visit