At Client Server, we are delighted to be continually adding brilliant women to our team, so it is important to us to look at what we and the sector can do to improve their working experience and support women in tech. Currently, statistics show women hold just 26.7% of jobs in technology, with a 73:27 male to female ratio in STEM. Furthermore, 2/3 of these women quit within the first 15 years, and TrustRadius’ 2021 Women in Tech Report found that 57% of women in the industry were struggling with burnout. This needs to change.
Despite some progression in bias awareness and gender diversity, the technology industry has many improvements to make, so let’s have a look at how:
The hiring process
Here, there is a dual problem; job roles are not attracting many women, and then women are excluded when they do. Tech business’, along with every other sector, must be diverse and inclusive. It is a necessity. You need to hire an equivalent number of women. Introducing skill-based hiring practices through technical testing is a much fairer way of gaining the highest quality talent.
Another issue is that women don’t see themselves reflected in the tech landscape as there are few role models in leadership positions. The knowledge that a tech company has a woman in their management team could be the difference between a woman applying for a role or not. Therefore, companies must promote worthy women in their teams. Promotions not only act to encourage women in tech to follow in their footsteps but help retain current female employees.
You also need to master writing job descriptions that attract women. If a woman doesn’t match 90% of a job description, she won’t apply, so you must construct them carefully. The language during the recruitment process plays a crucial role; women often don’t respond to male-biased terms like ‘manpower’.
Isolation in the workplace
If the workplace is male-dominated, it is easy for a woman to feel isolated. To combat this, encourage networking. Here at Client Server, we have set up a women’s networking group who meet up to discuss issues and are there to support one another, which has had great feedback from our members. Gender inclusivity training would also be a good option for employees and higher-ups alike.
Juggling family and work-life
Statistically, women take on the majority of the division of labour in the household. This involves all the domestic chores. A study from the Center for Global Development found that women were responsible for 173 additional hours of unpaid child care last year, while men only spent 59 hours.
Therefore, when a woman works as well, it is easy to feel burnout and stretched too thin. Women should feel supported by their company through the implementation of flexible working, work-from-home schemes, and parental incentives. At Client Server, we’re proud to offer up to 24 weeks of parental leave pay for primary parents and up to 8 weeks of parental leave pay for co-parents.
Lack of opportunities and progression
Many women in tech feel defeated by biases that discourage them from advancing. The opportunity to progress and succeed needs to be obtainable. A 2019 survey polled women who had remained in senior positions for eight or more years to see what kept them there. The majority, 56%, stated the work as the reason. It is a myth that women leave tech because they do not enjoy the work. It can be frustrating to see male peers of equal skill level and tenure progressing when they aren’t. Incorporating ongoing training and closing skill gaps before they become a significant issue is essential.
Maternity leave can also be an obstacle to progress; after considerable time away, women must get back up to speed and settle in before they can begin to advance. For this reason, it’s vital to support them and to set aside time to catch them back up.
Feeling underappreciated at work
You must provide equal benefits for both genders. Businesses can do this by implementing intersectional pay audits. We also encourage you to acknowledge the achievements of female employees, which could mean nominations for awards such as CRN Women in Channel Awards, an annual event that recognises significant women in tech, or schemes like Employee of the Month, including an equal proportion of women.
Absolute equality in the tech sector starts with encouraging more women to join tech. The main barriers for women entering this industry are GCSEs and A-Levels, which tells us we need to make changes in education from a young age to motivate girls to choose this as a career. Organisations like Girls Who Code and Million Women Mentors work towards this goal, and at Client Server, we are honoured to be in association with Women in Tech UK. We will continue to champion female developers across the UK and beyond.
If you have any ideas on how to better support women in tech, please, feel free to get in touch at email@example.com; we’re always open to suggestions.
Client Server is a leading technology recruitment consultancy. We find exceptional people exceptional jobs in tech. Find out more about us here www.client-server.com.