Voices from our tech survey

In 2019, we surveyed the Scottish Tech Sector to see what was working well across the industry - and what wasn’t.

The good news is that the majority of tech workers were proud to work in the industry. We had good relationships with our team and direct reports. Adjustments to work/life balance, in about half the cases, had been granted and honoured.

We liked a lot about the job - the sense of purpose, responsibility, and collaboration. The ability to make something happen - to build something. It can be interesting work, and we’re always learning.

However, there were some things that desperately need to change. A few of these are picked up in more detail in the [Issues] section: things like pay transparency, gender discrimination, lack of diversity, paternity leave. There are other problems throughout the industry: crunch. Questions around ethics. Growth without end.

On Bullying and Harassment

Over 53% of Scottish tech workers have experienced or witnessed bullying and harassment.

I have been badly bullied at previous employers

I was bullied by my manager. I didn't feel like I could report it due to the close relationship between him and his superior.

I reported it, and got told to stop using that word [bullying] so they didn't have to deal with it, and then they turned it around and blamed me

Constant racist microagressions against Chinese member of staff from a colleague

I was targeted by senior management for having pointed out harassment at work

I have complained about being mistreated in the past and I was made out as the perpetrator for bringing it up

There’s no clear standards or expectations set of anyone. Generally managers are people of high confidence that are used to making people work the way they are comfortable with - which in turns makes the people under them uncomfortable.

In my experience bullying or harassment is less likely to be dealt with or noticed when experienced by women in tech

it's not a healthy environment. I worry about newer/more vulnerable members of staff

Harassment by a CEO went completely unaddressed and drove several employees out of the company.

The bullying I witnessed had subtly racist undertones and was coming from someone in a management position. There was no hope of any fairness.

On discrimination and inequality

As a woman, I am yet to be interviewed by another woman or a member of a minority. There have been instances of ageism in my workplace towards people in their 60s, who were nonetheless extremely knowledgeable in their domain.

There is such a lack of sensitivity with events and campaigns that can make women feel excluded implicitly

There is a move towards managing out older workers

BAME still face low glass ceilings, poor appraisals, and lack of promotion.

Several of us made complaints about discriminatory, offensive behaviour. The perpetrators are still at the company, and moving up. I have no confidence in raising it through company channels.

I've reviewed 100s of CVS, but rarely seen anyone other than men.

There is systematic racism and misogyny. Many senior male staff make misogynistic comments and don’t examine their own behaviours.

Too many things to list - inequality is endemic.

We’re surveying the tech industry again this year to see if there’s been any change, but we know that some of these experiences are still happening. Without a course adjustment nothing will stop these problems growing - only you can help make that change. Join the network, then join a union, and let’s change the culture together.