One of the questions Client Server fields more than any other is about women in technology. From chief executives to CTOs, everyone wants to know “How do we get more women to work in our tech teams?” With women only making up 17% of the UK tech workforce, companies have put inclusivity right at the top of their talent acquisition agenda.
It’s a subject we’re passionate about at Client Server. We’re proud to have worked with some of the most highly-skilled female technologists across the UK, Europe and Australia. In September, we will be featuring interviews with some of the talented women we’ve helped secure jobs for. More than just being ‘women in tech,’ they have all made incredible contributions to the UK’s tech scene.
But we know there is more the tech industry could be doing to grow that 17%. There are a number of things people and businesses can do to help attract and retain more women in technology. I’m talking about more than tokenism. We believe that this shouldn’t be a one-off campaign or something businesses think about during dedicated themed weeks. Business leaders must implement an ongoing strategy and bed it into their everyday function.
Here are my top tips for you to think about as a business trying to attract and retain women in technology:
1: Promote role models and women leaders
For me, this is the most important thing a business can do. Current and future women leaders are the most valuable people in your business. They are great role models for all young people and are a benefit to the company (a 2018 study found that diverse workplaces generate as much as 19% more revenue ) as it increases the number of influential women in technology.
As well as attracting more women into tech roles, companies also need to work harder at retaining female tech talent. Once you have found them, don’t let them go, give them opportunity to grow and excel.
Promoting women to senior roles is important too. This will encourage new staff and future candidates to apply, as it will give them confidence in you as an employer. This will not only help with encouraging women in tech to follow in their footsteps, but will be a massively positive influence in retaining current employees.
2: Establish a relationship with universities and colleges
Have a strong relationship between your company and a couple of academic institutions that you can visit and showcase your business. More than promoting your culture, these are great opportunities to talk about key projects and techstack.
3: Establish a back to work scheme
It is also crucial to attract women returning to work, as they possess developed skills and experience which is vital to strengthen any business. It will also attract a larger and more diverse workforce. Flexible work times and working from home (now a given in most businesses) are also critical components. And while parential responsibility is more shared than it's ever been, women are still seen as the primary caregiver . Offering shared paternity packages is beneficial for women and men.
Plus, initiatives to get women back to work after career breaks. These include things like shared working, retraining on the job, or “buddy systems” which are all hugely attractive options to encourage returning to the work place.
4: Equal salary and workplace benefits
Equal pay for equal work is hugely important. Implementing transparent pay practices ensures women feel they are paid fairly when starting a new job.
Offering WFH and/or flexible working times will help women with families and balancing work. Offering this to their male colleagues too, can make the work environment feel more balanced.
Making sure you have an inclusive work culture that gives everyone an opportunity to feel like they can contribute and have an equal opportunity to excel.
5: Work with Client Server
There are many more initiatives and strategies businesses can implement to help hire and retain talented women technologists, but partnering with a recruitment consultancy that has tangible diversity hiring policies and practises is vital.
At Client Server, we are always growing our network of exceptional technologists, both women and men.
- We set up Jellyfish, our technology meetup platform, where we partner with Codeclub, an educational coding charity, encouraging children of all ages to take up coding.
- We run technology events specifically for women, offering an opportunity for truly inspiration women in technology to share their stories.
- We spend a lot of time interviewing, blogging and sharing experiences of successful women in technology.
But alongside all of this, we are constantly promoting opportunities to everyone in technology, offering a wide and diverse pool of the best candidates in the market to our clients.
Ultimately business want the best people for the job, if we can encourage, promote and help more women to become that person, then we are on the right track.