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No Industry Entry for Girls – Is Computer Science a Boy’s Club?


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The Computer Science (CS) industry stands out as male-dominated. On top of that, many companies struggle to retain women that dedicated themselves to enter careers in CS as they manage to do so. While initiatives to achieve gender parity within CS might be considered utopian, any form of discrimination against any gender in the industry is highly pernicious. Therefore, organizations employ official and unofficial measures to counter bias. The paper introduces a multi-country survey among scholars and IT/CS professionals. The survey explores how common and impactful are the issues revealed by the pilot study as well as highlights what has been done so far to encourage women and girls to join and/or stay in STEM. Based on that, change agents and organizational best practices are elaborated. The current paper covers and discusses the results of the first stage of the study.
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in the Smart Society
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Edited by
Societal Challenges in the Smart Society
Mario Arias-Oliva (Universitat Rovira i Virgili),
Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo (University of La
Rioja), Kiyoshi Murata (Meiji University), Ana
María Lara Palma (University of Burgos)
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Societal Challenges in the Smart Society 535
Gosia Plotka, Bartosz Marcinkowski
De Montfort University (United Kingdom),
Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology (Poland);
The Computer Science (CS) industry stands out as male-dominated. On top of that, many
companies struggle to retain women that dedicated themselves to enter careers in CS as they
manage to do so. While initiatives to achieve gender parity within CS might be considered
utopian, any form of discrimination against any gender in the industry is highly pernicious.
Therefore, organizations employ official and unofficial measures to counter bias. The paper
introduces a multi-country survey among scholars and IT/CS professionals. The survey explores
how common and impactful are the issues revealed by the pilot study as well as highlights what
has been done so far to encourage women and girls to join and/or stay in STEM. Based on that,
change agents and organizational best practices are elaborated. The current paper covers and
discusses the results of the first stage of the study.
KEYWORDS: Computer Science; Gender Inequality; Job Retention; Organizational Practices.
There is a wide consensus that skills directly related to Computer Science (CS)such as problem
solving, design and evaluation of complex systems as well as human behaviour understanding
enable constructing meaningful artefacts using computers and are of critical importance in 21st
century (Giannakos et al., 2017). Even though women actively took part in information
technology evolution, still relatively few of them are pursuing their professional careers in
Engineering industry. The lack of consistence in terminology used by research teams
investigating the phenomena (IT-related contributions often address similar research settings as
Computer Science, Computing or Systems) results in a number of studies with data that slightly
vary. Similar variances have been observed among developed economiesdata coming from
Northern America sources are to some extent different than those coming from the European
ones. For instance, according to Graf, Fry & Frunk (2018), only 14% of Engineering workers are
women, and CS industry is underrepresented (25%) as well; at the same time, there was only 2%
increase in Engineering jobs within the 27 years timespan (between 1990 and 2017)whereas
7% drop in numbers in Computing. To provide a basis for comparison, throughout the same
period the share of women in other fields (such as health-related, life sciences and even the
other STEM areassuch as physics and maths) has increased. Homogenous data, also coming
from the Northern America market, is provided by Ehrlinger et al. (2018). On top of that,
8. Societal Challenges in the Smart Society
536 Mario Arias-Oliva, Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo, Kiyoshi Murata, Ana María Lara Palma (Eds.)
Gorbacheva et al. (2019) make an observation that women constitute only 16.7% of employed
IT specialists, even though overall 47% of them are active on the job market. Those claims are
based, among others, on data provided by the Eurostat.
Moreover, diverse research also reveals that there is (1) a difference in the retention of women
and men in the field of their study upon successfully completing their major in
Computing/Engineering fields; (2) gender salary gap remains in place – just to mention research
by Craigie & Dasgupta (2017) as well as Stephan & Levin (2005). The mechanics behind women
effectively disappearing from some fields that can be considered ‘geekier’ is still an open issue,
and one of a vital importance for business organizations and faculty. Therefore, the authors
followed the research goal of identifying the hindrances leading to women underrepresentation
within Computer Science industry and elaborating a set of best practices how to overcome some
of the common problems and work together on evening up the numbers in computing to make
it more diverse and inclusive.
After the introduction, we address a number of related studies and contributions that scrutinize
the overall mechanics as well as the succeeding escalation phases of female
underrepresentation within CS in section 2. Research questions are motivated and introduced
in section 3, whereas the research approach adopted is recapitulated in section 4. Then,
preliminary results of the study are presented and discussed in section 5, followed by a brief
summary of on-going work and conclusions.
2.1. Faint flow into the pipeline
The reasons behind gender disparity within CS were approached in previous research from
several angles. To visualize the phenomenon, the notion of STEM pipeline that experiences
severe leaks throughout women education, up to their graduation, was forged. Indeed, it is
pointless to dispute some of the indicators. Gordon (2016) maintains that CS in fact has no issues
with potential suitorsyet males dominate individual cohorts at later stages of education with
shares that exceed 80%. The phenomenon spreads worldwide. As reported by Galpin (2002),
participation of women in Computing courses at undergraduate level highly varies throughout
countries, with a bulk of results between 10% and 40%. That being said, unless one is keen on
extending the beginning of the pipeline to as early stages of individual’s education that a
potential future graduate in practice has no actual say regarding educational choicesand many
analyses do just that flow into the pipeline itself is a major factor. This flow is faint at best.
Cheryan, Master & Meltzoff (2015) argue that even should the most abstract scenario of
retaining each and every woman who committed to majoring in CS or Engineering upon entering
college came into fruition, sheer number of men who travelled the same path would cover their
own leaks with a surplus.
Among the factors that contribute to this faint ingress flow, stereotypes regarding professional
careers in CS combined with perception of absolute/relative gender strengths certainly deserve
further exploration. Cheryan et al. (2009) offer a reasonable analogy in that regard: just as
people who are not outdoor enthusiasts may find a city full of outdoor gear stores and cars with
ski racks attached unappealing, women may find masculine stereotype-lined path
counterproductive. Both solutions and inspirations for further research resulted from previous
studies regarding CS stereotypes issue:
Societal Challenges in the Smart Society 537
in contrast to men, women are sensitive to artefacts in their environments that affect
perception of such environments in terms of masculinity and femininity (Cheryan et
al., 2009);
females were keener on enrolling in an introductory CS course upon steering the
classroom environment away from stereotypes regarding CS that high school students
had at a time (Master, Cheryan & Meltzoff, 2016);
stereotype factor remains in place even after changing the environment into a
professional one, retaining gender proportion and providing homogenous salaries
(Cheryan et al., 2009);
broadcasting the image of CS and Engineering as highly-specialized fields makes more
harm than good since potential candidates lose their sense of belonging; therefore,
bringing down barriers at the entry of the pipeline requires broadening the mental
picture of what it means to be a CS professional or an engineer (Cheryan, Master &
Meltzoff, 2015).
While both academia and business can take advantage of stereotype-centred studies whilst
designing their facilities and attracting students and employees, several core issues can be
backtracked to early education and parenting practices. As this paper is focused more towards
the end of the pipeline, we shall highlight the effects of non-belonging that might potentially
directly translate to professional career stages. As reported by Garcia et al. (2018), even high-
achieving CS female students still consider themselves less recognized than their male
counterparts. Awareness of this fact is likely to affect decision processes of younger female
generations and their tendency to feed the pipeline. Stoet & Geary (2018) note an interesting
paradox countries renowned for their gender equality policies tend to report larger sex
differences as women feel free to pursue their comparative advantages and personal
preferences, whereas in less gender-equal countries the cost of forgoing a well-paying STEM
career encourages more moment to enter the pipeline.
2.2. Leaky academic pipeline
Gordon (2016) associates academic retention with the share of students who go along their
selected course of study at a single institution instead of switching to another course/discipline
or discontinuing their study; retention in CS was revealed to be the worst among all disciplines.
Giannakos et al. (2017) dive into CS retention issue using Structural Equation Modelling and
reveal that (1) CS students find their discipline lacking interactive and social aspects; (2) whereas
high-quality teaching is a must across all disciplines, it does not ensure keeping CS students
engaged in their studies and sticking to their selected majors. Peters et al. (2014) associate weak
retention numbers with limited past experiences with programming and derivative struggles to
envision future participation in CS activities and negotiation of meaning. Since most Engineering
and CS curricula introduce programming subjects and focus on programming skills early on,
students interested in broader perspective on technology and its social impact may find
themselves discouraged (Peters & Pears, 2013). Misunderstanding of CS may also be linked to
the lack of discipline-specific entry qualifications (Gordon, 2016).
8. Societal Challenges in the Smart Society
538 Mario Arias-Oliva, Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo, Kiyoshi Murata, Ana María Lara Palma (Eds.)
As far as leaks from the pipeline given academic context are concerned, Virnoche & Eschenbach
(2010) report that gender is not among the factors that affect retention significantly. Miller &
Wai (2015), based on their analysis of a 30-year-long interval, point out that males and females
currently persist at roughly equal rates in STEM fields between the bachelor’s and Ph.D. degree.
So, whereas the loss of CS students as they progress their education is severe, it is not
discriminatory in nature. Early academic careers within CS also seem to be immune to gender
bias. Ceci et al. (2014) do not hesitate to highlight a paradox: women tend to achieve the most
success at being hired, promoted and remunerated as professors in the very fields they are
underrepresented the most; thus, the academy itself is not to be overly blamed for disrupting
gender neutrality. On top of that, Miller (2015) criticises the notion of STEM pipeline altogether,
pointing out that many ‘leaks’ that are unfairly stigmatized carry on using technical skills gained
to make significant societal contributions throughout other fields.
2.3. Leaky professional pipeline
IT industry, at first glance, is strongly open to gender neutrality. Since CS and IT reported
shortage of qualified staff for years and such deficit only increases the exposure of whole nations
to competitive risks, women and minorities are often considered untapped resources (Vitores &
Gil-Juárez, 2016). Whereas studies conducted by the end of 20th century often revealed gender-
related discrimination practices while hiring, more recent studies paint a definitely more
balanced picture. For instance, Carlsson (2011) upon investigation of hiring practices in two
largest Swedish job markets reports that no evidence was found to support a bias exists
regarding the probability of being invited to an interview in male-dominated occupations, while
in female-dominated occupations women had a higher call-back rate compared to men. Similar
conclusions were reached by Charness et al. (2020) after experimentally investigating
anticipated discrimination across gender, hiring patterns, and performance in tasks with
different stereotypes in a labour-market setting: math-related discrimination against females in
hiring did not take place at all.
Recruiting practices within CS evolve towards being more female-friendly. On one hand, it is
many a time motivated by good publicity. On the other, women are reported to be more inclined
to apply for a job given certain information points are in place. Sullivan (2018) lists 25 influence
areas for attracting female applicants, which include revealing the proportion of women in this
particular job, offering side-by-side company comparisons in terms of women-friendly features,
providing project approval rates, or demonstrating the extent to which the job can be
customized. It is the algorithmic hiring that ought to be highlighted when considering
recruitment-specific risks to equality challenge. Such algorithms not only may follow data
patterns that are obsolete given relatively recent shifts in policies. On top of that, women are
more likely to raise red flags due to potential gaps in employment related to giving birth and
children care (Parker, 2015).
We would argue that the real problem that contributes to females leaking from the pipeline
upon graduation lies elsewhere. Majeed (2019) points out that hiring personnel to entry-level IT
positions without any sign of bias might be easy, but at one point of any woman career she
aspires to have more responsibility. Should that responsibility be unfairly denied, a potential
leak would form. Obstacles in gaining access to high-power leadership positions in certain
situations were confirmed by Hoover et al. (2019), who revealed that while high-ranking males
rated male and female applicants for managerial position in line with their qualifications, lower-
Societal Challenges in the Smart Society 539
ranking ones reacted with discrimination to alleviate the threat of being subordinated to a
One also cannot ignore the gap in salaries that refuses to go away. Although Budig (2014) reports
that the tendency is clear, and between 1979 and 2012 the American market was very successful
towards closing it, fatherhood is revealed to come with a salary bonuswhile motherhood with
a penalty. Rayome (2016) provides a number of technology market-focused indicators,
concluding that (1) young female tech professionals (i.e. aged between 18 and 25) are
particularly impacted by the difference in median salary that peaks at 29% and decreases over
time; (2) one of the main reasons the salary gap persists is that women are more reluctant to
negotiate the first offer compared to men; (3) scrutinizing salary-based data against gender
disparities and coming up with objective criteria for evaluations that decide on promotions is a
best practice for companies to implement. Ultimately, 56% of women in technology (twice as
many as men) quit at the mid-level point, just when the loss of their talent is most costly to
companies (Hewlett, 2008). Stephan & Levin (2005) point out that the lower retention rate of
female IT professionals may not necessarily be tracked back to the comparative advantage of
other industrieswomen are simply more likely than men to leave the labour force altogether.
Literature review shows that significant underrepresentation of women among CS professionals
is the picture that is not going to change in the foreseeable future. Not so many females
worldwide seriously consider undertaking this particular path early on, and a significant share
opts out along the way. A number of myths, stereotypes and misconceptions contribute to such
tendencies (Kindsiko & Türk, 2017) and many researchers came up with best practices to
counter them. That being said, given even more extremes present among the countries that
might be classified as gender bias-free and hardly discriminatory academic practices, we find
some of the more radical efforts to re-shape the phenomenon counterproductive. In our
opinion, governments, companies and individuals should be actively committed to removing
hindrances. The very hindrances that might pile up in front of these women, who actually
decided to go against the tide and dedicated themselves to a career in CS as they enter the
labour force.
To pave the way for exploring this topic, a pilot study was conducted: a focus group that involved
nearly 20 women from around the world. The members of the group were asked about what
they consider the main reasons for them behind struggling to decide to start their professional
careers and stay in IT (Figure 1). The feedback helped to identify four areas of problems:
it is a boy’s club indeedif you do not look or act like one, you cannot belong to it;
there is a lack of support structure or role models;
different standards for different genders and women hindering each other;
lack of awareness or exposure.
8. Societal Challenges in the Smart Society
540 Mario Arias-Oliva, Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo, Kiyoshi Murata, Ana María Lara Palma (Eds.)
Figure 1. Struggles if women in computingfocus group.
Still, there is a huge difference between an individual sense of being out-of-placeand the
working environment neglecting, or even encouraging practices that make somebody feel out-
of-place. Between the natural process of familiarizing oneself and fitting in a new setting that is
full of challenges and having an unofficial policy of the entire company in place that
discriminates based on gander, ethnic group or any other attribute. Between field-testing, even
unsuccessfully, anti-bias measures and having no answers at all. Therefore, we posed a few
research questions addressing diversity and inclusivity of CS working environments. In the
current paper, we attempt to answer three of those:
RQ1: Do companies establish official anti-discrimination practices that cover gender or is it
just a matter of organizational culture?
Societal Challenges in the Smart Society 541
RQ2: What sort of measures (both formally anti-discriminatory and of general nature) are
used to reconcile professional careers of employees and parenthood?
RQ3: What is the level of labour force support for introducing formal parities and programs
addressed exclusively to female employees?
In order to collect empirical data, we launched a survey targeted at members of the global
community that were professionally involved in IT/CS or represented academia in the
aforementioned fields. Nigel, Fox & Hunn (2009) bring up a number of advantages of using
survey approach: (1) it can cover samples that are geographically spread; (2) in most research
settings it can provide results that may be efficiently used to draw conclusions and generalize
those to wider population; (3) it can be thrown in the mix with other methods to deliver richer
data; (4) since its participants are only exposed to events that would take place anyway, it does
not introduce ethical concerns. We employed online Google forms service as an instrument for
collecting data. The questionnaire featured both open-ended and closed questions, with the
latter being primarily based on a 5-point Likert scale. The first stage of analysis, the results of
which are covered in this paper, was initiated upon exceeding the threshold of 100 respondents
providing their feedback.
The questionnaire form was divided into three sections of 5, 6 and 9 questions respectively
(Table 1). Whereas the first section was put in place to capture particulars of each respondent
and enable moderation of results, the second addressed audience’s judgements regarding
possible hindrances for women in CS, and the last oneways of handling them.
Table 1. Questionnaire form
Respondent’s particulars
1. Respondent’s year of birth
2. Respondent’s country of residence
3. Line of work
4. Size of the
o Micro (1-9 people)
o Small (10-49 people)
o Medium-sized (50-249
o Large (250 people or more)
5. Gender
o Female
6. IT has traditionally been a boy’s cluband I consider entry barriers to be high
7. Female role models that appeal to me are very rare in Computer Science
8. Women do not get enough exposure and are being assigned secondary roles more often
9. Should you be in favour of the previous statementwhat reasons for such lack of women
exposure are there?
10. Women within the industry tend to hinder each other significantly more often than men
11. Please provide any additional hindrance(s) you can think of that applies to making careers by
women within Computer Science field
How to deal with those problems?
12. My company is taking official measures to deal with inequality
8. Societal Challenges in the Smart Society
542 Mario Arias-Oliva, Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo, Kiyoshi Murata, Ana María Lara Palma (Eds.)
13. If so, what policies
were implemented?
Corporate policy in place that prohibits any form of discrimination
Official anti-discrimination education sessions
Balanced schemes for professional training funding
Implementing formal parity while recruiting
Implementing formal parity while promoting
Support for work-life balance (nursery/infant schools at the
workplace, paid maternity leave beyond the one enforced by law etc.)
Mechanisms to deal with complaints confidentially
Other: (short answer field)
14. And which of those
would you
Corporate policy in place that prohibits any form of discrimination
Official anti-discrimination education sessions
Balanced schemes for professional training funding
Implementing formal parity while recruiting
Implementing formal parity while promoting
Support for work-life balance (nursery/infant schools at the
workplace, paid maternity leave beyond the one enforced by law etc.)
Mechanisms to deal with complaints confidentially
15. I consider unofficial mentoring from experienced and recognized specialists to be a viable
16. Managers need to be made to react immediately to any form of non-inclusion
17. Company should enable/fund networking opportunities exclusively for female employees within
Computer Science
18. Please provide any additional ways to increase inclusion of women within CS field
19. Any other feedback or suggestions?
20. If you want us to be able to reach you in the future regarding the feedback, please leave your e-
mail address here (data processing statement included)
During this stage, we focused we focused on exploring the attitude of the community as a whole
to the issues raised in RQ1-3. Questionnaire forms filled to date turned out to be close to gender
parity (men constituted a marginal majority), while by far the largest share was attributable to
the staff of companies that employed 250 people or more. Residents of as many as 25 countries
shared their opinions, with the largest group being British.
As regards to whether companies that employ our respondents established official anti-
discrimination practices that cover gender or was it just a matter of organizational culture
the feedback was unequivocal. At the time of the preliminary analysis, only 18.8% of
respondents flatly denied the existence of such policies in their companies or were rather
convinced that there were no official policies targeting gender bias in place. Five among the
policies that were either pre-selected or additionally reported by respondents were
implemented in at least 20% of the organizations covered by the survey (Figure 2). Thus, it would
be unreasonable to suspect that companies only set up minimalistic prohibition on
discrimination in their statutes for legal or publicity reasons. It ought to be noted though that
the numerical strength of large companies staff in the survey is not without an impact on this
state of affairs, as major organizations may afford to allocate greater resources to ensure
equality across all attributes, and simply show tendencies to formalize more. At this stage, it can
be safely stated that support for setting up formal policies is huge throughout the sample, as
there was only a single case of decreasing a relevant indicator when the official practices in force
were confronted with those postulated by the respondents to be implemented (and this drop
Societal Challenges in the Smart Society 543
was slight: from 63.4% to 61.4%). In the remaining four cases the raise was significant, and only
6.9% of respondents argued that no formal policies are actually needed.
Figure 2. Official policies targeting gender bias with 20%+ implementation rate.
The feedback shows that companies do employ measures to reconcile professional careers of
employees and parenthood. In the same time, it is the area that employers need to take great
care of. Respondents highlighted parenthood-related issues in a number of places:
women are usually more involved than their male counterparts in child care, child raising
and domestic chores; so it is more difficult for them to reconcile these family
responsibilities with an intense dedication to their paid jobs; this is not specific of
computer science, of course”;
“[management shows] sexism in relation to women starting families”;
“[…] empower fathers to go on parental leave to the same extent that mothers usually do
and support all genders when they return to the job afterwards (e.g. with funded training
to help them catch up on new developments)”.
What surprised us, however, is a rather one-tracked recipe of large companies to this vital issue.
One cannot overstate the utility of nursery/infant schools at workplaces, just as paid parental
leaves are a backbone of the pro-family policy. The latter, however, constitute a risk factor in
certain circles as well employers may be less keen to hire females or may offer them lower
salaries due to accompanying costs. To counter that, some Nordic countries introduced
8. Societal Challenges in the Smart Society
544 Mario Arias-Oliva, Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo, Kiyoshi Murata, Ana María Lara Palma (Eds.)
mandatory father quotas that are non-transferable and are lost if not used. Based on our
personal experiences and the favourable specifics of the IT/CS market in this respect, we
expected much stronger pressure towards flexible forms and working hours. The matter was
admittedly raised by the respondentsbut it clearly was of low priority.
It can be safely said that the question of the entire labour force’s support for introducing formal
parities and programs addressed exclusively to female employees causes greatest emotions. The
doubt whether the promotional procedures were fair or not was confirmed. The preliminary
results not only showed that companies would rather stick to formal parities when recruiting
(often simply unnecessary just to mention Carlsson (2011) or Charness et al. (2020)) and
consider the matter closed. In fact, the largest gap (in both absolute and relative terms) between
the policies officially implemented already, and those our respondents would like to see in place,
relates to implementing formal parities when promoting. While existence of such policy was
confirmed in only in 13.9% of the companies, 43.6% of the respondents put this particular policy
on their wish list. In result, it would top two other postulated practices from the top five list
(comp. Figure 2). Ultimately, respondents do not have much faith in existing mechanisms, which
often prove discretionary. This confirms the results revealed in some other studies (Hoover et
al., 2019; Majeed, 2019). This issue was also raised in open-ended questions:
“[…] being overlooked for promotion […]”
hiring upper level positions is quite limiting to female candidates; even though we
encouraged women and minorities to apply to a recent job opening very few had PhDs in
CS, and even fewer had experience in management; all of the candidates that made the
top 7 in our case were male”.
Interest in gender-exclusive programs might be deemed marginalwhile data collected so far
exhibited only slight tendency contra enabling and funding such networking opportunities,
unambiguously positive descriptive reflections to this topic were extremely rare:
“[…] offers women-only courses on leadership […] which I found to be very good; courses
like this in all sectors would be welcome, and, if operated in the same way, are effective
Other statements in this regard were at most neutral. Generally, opposition to so-called positive
discrimination is voiced strongly:
integrating female-only events to the more inclusive direction; that would promote
better future also for the female CS experts, too, and the female-only events just highlight
the current gender balance and underestimate the capability of female CS experts”;
“I don’t feel companies should enable/fund networking opportunities that are exclusive
to any particular gender or race; if we are wishing to encourage inclusion, a suggestion of
division is not the way to go about that; speaking personally, if opportunities were
presented with non-gendered bias in the writing, perhaps I would seek them out more
if it is exclusive only for females then it is discriminating against all others”;
“[…] there is no such thing as good discrimination; instead encourage men to engage more
in family life […] this would make it less beneficial for employers to favour men”;
Societal Challenges in the Smart Society 545
empowerment is inclusion […] exclusive benefits are a negative as it creates an idea that
hard work isn’t necessary”;
“[…] the so called ‘positive discrimination’ makes men sceptical about equality slogans”.
Only a portion of collected data was scrutinized during the first stage of the analysis. On-going
activities confront soft and hard measures – for instance, strong belief in adequate reactions of
the management to reported bias seems somewhat surprising. Upper management in CS is,
after all, dominated by men, and we have already shown that such belief does not translate to
the process of promoting staff. Several interesting angles remain. Are females actually more
hostile to other females than males are? What forms of hidden discriminatory practices were
uncovered? How modus operandi looks like? Is a ‘double jeopardy’ issue, i.e. exponential
discriminatory practices due to overlapping bias-related attributes a real thing?
This study enabled us to reassess the mechanics behind the female ‘leaky pipeline’ within CS.
We isolated the main trends and groups of hindrances, scrutinized a number of practices that
companies already employ or might employ in the future to counter any form of bias, and
outlined the directions of further analysis. Even partial data collected so far indicate a couple of
flaws in the current state of affairs. First of all, we would encourage companies to carry out a
comprehensive review of their promotion policies. Secondly, we would recommend a best
practice of re-distributing parental leaves among both parents as much as legally possibleand
supplementing it with flexible forms of labour provision.
The authors of the current paper would like to extend their sincere thanks to George
Eleftherakis, Reyyan Ayfer as well as Rafal Kruczkowski for their guidance towards shaping this
research and all their input.
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