Walls all around: barriers women professionals face in high-tech careers in Bangladesh

Samina Saifuddin (Department of Business Administration, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA)
Lorraine Dyke (Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)
Md Sajjad Hossain (Department of Business Administration, East West University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Publication date: 16 September 2019



The purpose of this paper is to create a nuanced understanding of the barriers women high-tech professionals face in Bangladesh. The main aim is to identify the extent to which these barriers are common across different contexts and to explore the barriers that are unique and situated in the local socio-cultural context.


In-depth interviews with high-tech professionals were conducted to identify and explore the barriers.


Although some of the barriers are common across different contexts, most of the barriers women professionals face arise due to the interaction between situated socio-cultural practices and gender. The dynamics of socio-cultural and patriarchal norms reinforce gender biases and gendered practices that afford men with greater control over resources and systematically limit women’s access to opportunities.

Research limitations/implications

The study recruited 35 participants using snowball sampling. From a methodological perspective, future research could benefit from recruiting a larger, more varied sample using random sampling.

Practical implications

Women experience barriers due to both internal organizational features and external contextual barriers. The findings suggest that some of these barriers can be removed through governmental and organizational policies and through appropriate intervention strategies delivered in partnership with governmental and non-governmental organizations.


The study makes a unique contribution by using a macro-social lens to analyze the meso-organizational practices and micro-individual phenomena thereby providing a holistic view of the barriers faced by women professionals in Bangladesh.



Saifuddin, S., Dyke, L. and Hossain, M.S. (2019), "Walls all around: barriers women professionals face in high-tech careers in Bangladesh", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 38 No. 7, pp. 705-726. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-11-2017-0247

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