We've used both our experience and the opinions of people in the tech industry from WeAreDevelopers 2022...
To come up with 8 Ways you can encourage more women in the sector:
1. Collaborate and Create Tech Opportunities
Results from a 2018 survey reported that 45% of women said they lacked tech skills, 38% said they lacked tech knowledge, and 24% of them said technology was ‘not for people like them’.
Raising awareness and providing education and inspiration for women on the rise of technology and the opportunities it can provide is a great way of attracting women to tech. Coding Black Females do this wonderfully and continue to open doors in the tech industry to the minds of brilliant black women.
Consider working with organisations that focus on this, or perhaps start your own programmes or work experience days to encourage a deeper understanding of tech roles available to women.
2. Equal Benefits
Taking measures like creating family-friendly or mental health programmes is a great start to showing women the equal benefits you provide. For example, if equal leave and pay are offered for both male and female employees, regarding parental leave, men would get more time to spend with their families, and women won’t feel pressured to leave their job. This can help encourage and attract more women into your tech organisation.
3. Returnship programmes
‘Returnships’ are a type of high-level internship that help people get back into a job after a career break.
By offering a structured means to rebuild skills and confidence to reduce the risk of people leaving their jobs, your company can enjoy the benefits of gaining highly-skilled individuals and continue to support women in their tech careers.
4. Remove Gender Bias From Job Descriptions
This is a common measure that companies take to increase the appeal of their roles to women - but you’d be surprised at how many companies still don’t do this!
Take a moment to think: does your company unconsciously target or exclude women in how it communicates specific roles? Are requirements, like academic backgrounds from male-dominated areas of education?
By selecting the appropriate language, you can present your company as balanced and supportive and attract more women into your roles.
5. Promote women to Senior Roles
Offer women the opportunity to progress and succeed in senior roles. This is a surefire way of attracting even more women into tech as they seek to challenge themselves and progress in their careers. Promoting women to senior roles in your company will encourage future candidates, as it gives them confidence in their new employer.
Future women leaders are also good role models for young women and are a benefit to the company as it increases the small number of influential women in tech...as the saying goes, 'empowered women empower women'!
6. Female-focused employee incentives
With the job market being so competitive in nature, you should be thinking very carefully about the benefits and incentives you offer to potential candidates. Since COVID-19, job priorities have changed, and work-life balance is more important than ever. So, things like flexible/remote working are being valued above other company benefits.
It’s a good idea to consider which benefits and incentives you list when trying to hire more women in tech. Consider things like:
- Above-average annual leave allowance
- Family-friendly policies
- Training and skill development opportunities
- Access to women-led networking groups
7. Women-Centric Mentoring & Training
Speaking of women-led networking groups…
Training and mentorship programs that focus on women’s needs can be an excellent way to offer more targeted support for their career goals and potential. Ensure female colleagues are being offered the same opportunities as their male colleagues to participate in training and gain new skills.
8. Champion Women’s Achievements & Voice
Communicate to your colleagues that reducing the gender gap is an important company goal. Let the entire organisation share the challenge of getting more women into tech, supporting and retaining them.
Let your female employees and colleagues know how important their contributions are to the company’s success. Showcase their work and achievements and demonstrate your recognition to the entire organisation that women’s efforts and opinions in the company are valued and that their efforts matter.
It can be tricky to sense imbalances in team communications, but having other leaders on board that hold differing perspectives and backgrounds, can help identify issues you might not initially see. Strive to make sure everyone knows that their voice matters and should be heard.
In order to combat gender imbalances in the tech industry, employers need to proactively make changes to ensure they are fostering an inclusive workplace. It’s key to know that the work doesn’t stop there and that you have a plan of action to support the women you have hired through their career development.
If you found this insightful, make sure to share this post with your tech network to boost proactive action to include and support more women in the tech space!
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02 March 2023