As an IT recruitment agency, our clients often ask us ‘How can we attract more female candidates?’ and ‘What can we do to encourage women in tech?’.
However, there are still many barriers that dissuade women from even considering jobs in tech.
Women are still the minority in the UK tech sector, with only 19% being female. In the US, women in the tech industry only make up 26% of the positions, with only 16% at executive levels.
At a recent event called ‘Women in Tech - 'Her Story', What does the future look like?’ many women addressed issues of how they struggle to gain significant recognition in their industry and often felt inferior, experiencing imposter syndrome.
With less women in the industry, there are fewer ideas, discoveries and perspectives to be made that would help make products, services and organisations better. Studies have shown that organisations that treat men and women equally are more innovative and teams that include women, get better results.
Women have paved the way for technology, dating back to the 1700s with French mathematician, Nicole-Reine Lepautre, predicting the return of Halley’s Comet by calculating the timing of a solar eclipse, to the 21st Century with the advancement of technology giving more women training opportunities and inspiring young girls to learn about tech.
Advocating for more women in tech is crucial to help the industry become the best it can be.
Here are three ways companies can actively boost women in technology:
1. Proactively look for and hire women: It sounds simple but actively searching for more female candidates is the first step towards bringing more women into your team. You should tell both people inside and on the outside of your networks that you want to hire women for tech roles.
2. Give women a voice: Though hiring more women in tech positions is crucial, the only way to truly encourage and inspire women is to give them platforms, such as inviting women to panel discussions, sharing their experiences to different outlets and just giving credit when credit is due internally. Their viewpoints enrich the discussions we're already having as an industry, as well as those that have yet to begin.
3. Promotions: In the tech industry, 39% of women view gender bias as a barrier to advancement, compared to only 8% of males. Giving fair opportunities for promotions and showing the successes of women is important to encouraging and keeping women in tech positions.
It’s now more important than ever close the gender gap in tech and for women to realise their potential to change the world.
Read this incredible report from PWC on why there is such a gender gap and how we can break the barriers of gender inequality.