How to get more women into tech
The year is 2023, and there’s still a shortage of women in tech. Discover how to change the record and close the gap with our six savvy tips.
The number of women in tech might be growing year-on-year, but it’s not enough. Research suggests that women make up only 28% of the tech industry workforce.
What makes this imbalance even more startling is the fact that companies that employ more senior females are more profitable, socially responsible, and customer-orientated.
The problem is, where do you find these talented women in tech to start solving the issue surrounding a lack of diversity?
Why are there so few women in tech?
Makes no bones about it, women have historically been under-represented in the tech industry. Sadly, they have fewer female role models, fear competing in a male-dominated field and find themselves negating stereotypes.
Perhaps the barriers for women entering tech began in the early stages of education, as science and technology subjects were perceived as being more masculine.
As a result, fewer women and girls chose to study and pursue these subjects, making the talent pool of female developers much smaller.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Women in tech stats are suggesting a shrink in the divide. We are increasingly seeing businesses, especially tech businesses, turning their focus to diverse hiring and attracting more female candidates.
Famous women in tech
With the tech industry still being heavily male-dominated, it can be easy to forget how impactful and instrumental women have been in its development.
Here’s a list of five women who had a tremendous impact on tech as we know it.
The 1800s were full of obstacles for women in STEM. But one name that particularly stands out is Ada Lovelace. A lady widely recognised as the first computer programmer.
Her life is celebrated annually on 2nd October to raise the profile of women in STEM and emphasise the power of women in tech.
Heddy Lamarr was an incredible inventor and actress credited for developing frequency hopping – the technology behind WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
Computer programmer Mary Wilkes designed the system for one of the first personal computers. In 1965, she became the first person to be a home computer user, initiating the first concept of the home office that we are all so familiar with today.
Adele Goldberg, the prolific computer scientist, was the only woman among a group of men who built the programming language Smalltalk-80.
She went on to demonstrate her development to Steve Jobs and, in turn, formed the basis for the Apple desktop.
Nicknamed the ‘Mother of the Internet,’ Radia’s invention of the algorithm behind the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) was instrumental in making today’s internet possible.
Her work made a monumental impact on how networks self-organise and move data and put the basic rules of the internet in place.
The list of incredible women could go on, and we look forward to the list expanding as more females enter the tech industry and make a difference.
Six ways to attract more women into tech
1. Network beyond your usual suspects
Businesses need to broaden their recruitment networks to attract diverse talent.
It can be easy to fall into a pattern of recruiting and seeking talent similar to past employees with which you’ve had a positive experience.
Change your recruitment sources and ensure your recruitment teams are constantly curious and flexible when pursuing more talent.
2. Encourage company influencers and employees to build more diverse networks
Company leaders and employees are the face and voice of your company.
Encourage your employees to network with groups, associations, and women in tech who inspire and empower more females and diverse talent pools.
As a result, your tech company will be more positive and appealing to female candidates.
3. Build women-centric mentoring and training programs
Training and mentorship programs that focus on women and their needs can help women in the workplace feel more supported.
Recognising the importance of a woman’s career goals and potential can ultimately decrease the number of women leaving the sector.
And according to research from McKinsey, gender-diverse companies outperform those that place fewer or no women on executive teams. Therefore, you don’t want them to feel forced out of the industry.
So, focussing on women and their training could overall benefit the company’s performance.
4. Add a diversity disclaimer to your job descriptions
This simple step will improve your company’s appearance, highlighting your standards and commitment to employment equality and opportunity.
5. Use a gender-neutral and inclusive tone of voice
Tech companies should use the appropriate language when trying to attract female candidates.
Without even realising it, the language and structure of job descriptions can be biased.
Before posting your job ad, examine whether the job title and pronouns are neutral, and avoid adding desired education/degrees that might be male-dominated.
Make female candidates feel welcome and valued from the off.
Try this fantastic tool to check your adverts.
6. Celebrate female colleagues’ achievements and progress
Give credit to your female colleagues, praise them on professional social profiles (LinkedIn, for example), and reiterate to the whole team the achievements made by the women and the men.
Let women know how much you value their work and how impactful their contributions are to the progress and success of the company.
The more female colleagues feel valued by business leaders and colleagues in a male-dominated field, the more they will put themselves forward and apply to roles in the tech industry.
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