In this digitally driven world, with technology becoming increasingly entwined with people’s everyday lives it’s difficult to believe that women make up only a minority of the industry. Yet research suggests that women hold only just over a quarter (28.8%) of all tech roles.
Having a diverse technical team leads to increased innovation and broader perspectives, enabling tech professionals and businesses alike to develop a better product more suited to its end users.
With this being the case, why are women still outnumbered by men in the tech industry?
Here’s what we think…
Lack of Representation
In the words of Marian Wright Edelman; you can’t be what you can’t see. Women are underrepresented in tech which can have a negative impact on their ability to be successful in the industry, one reason being it reduces the likelihood of mentorship opportunities.
Research has found that just 22% of tech directors are women. This lack of representation has lead to the creation of a non-inclusive working environment for women in tech. TrustRadius has found that the majority of women in tech (72%) have worked in an environment where “bro culture” exists, and in fact, one in four women in tech see gender bias as an obstacle for promotion.
Many of the women who feature as part of our #WomenInTechQA series stress the importance of role models to increasing that future pipeline of women in tech. Role models can be used to increase awareness for younger girls as to what a career in STEM is like and inspire them to go down that path.
Let’s Take a Look at Recruitment
It must also be mentioned that recruitment methods must change if we are to increase the number of women in tech. Almost half (48%) of women in tech report discrimination in the hiring process.
Instead of recruiting talent using the same methods, trying something different and going outside of typical tech talent pools will help to widen the diversity of your candidates. Looking outside of traditional career paths into tech and hiring on potential rather than previous experience is also key.
Consider Your Benefits
One reason that underlines why women are still underrepresented in tech can also be found in research that highlights the turnover rate for women in the industry is twice as high as men in tech. In fact, 56% are leaving their employer mid-career.
More effort needs to be put into not only attracting female tech talent but also retaining them. Check out this interview where Chief Diversity Officer of McKinsey, Lareina Yee, asks if you are focused on retaining female tech talent.
Working on increasing the number of women in tech will help to increase the representation of women in the industry and work towards developing a more inclusive working environment. But that’s not all. To create a more inclusive working environment, and help in the effort to attract and retain women in tech, businesses must assess what benefits they offer their female employees. Just one example can be found in flexible working. Research suggests that 70% of women with families prioritise having a flexible work schedule.
As businesses moves into a post-pandemic world the shift for more hybrid working environments may help to keep more women in tech careers.
What else can businesses offer in terms of benefits to help keep women in the tech industry? Let us know in the comments!
If you are a talented tech professional looking to take your career to the next level, get in touch with our specialist recruiters today!