5 Ways to Encourage and Keep Women in Tech
June 13, 2023
Halfway through 2023, and unfortunately, there is still a glaring lack of women in tech. Although there has been progress over the decades, women are still largely missing from the tech space at all levels. Despite recent layoffs in the sector, the industry is trending to almost double in size in the US alone by 2032. Could women help the industry reach its lofty goal? We dig into how to encourage more women to join the tech industry and how businesses can retain them.
Men dominate the tech industry, which puts it at a disadvantage because studies have proven that a diverse team can increase profit and innovation. With women only representing 31% of IT workers, companies need to increase diversification in hiring.
In the corporate world, men receive more promotions and leadership roles than their female counterparts. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 34% of men received a promotion as opposed to 9% of women earning a promotion during the same period.
The pay gap also continues to exist despite skill level and experience being equivalent for both sexes, discouraging women from applying to tech roles. We can also attribute exclusive cultures within the industry to pushing women away as they cannot find a sense of belonging.
If business leaders work proactively to adjust these current statistics, we can expect to see more women in tech and stick around for the long term.
Best practices throughout the hiring process need to start with the job description. Studies conclude that women can feel excluded beginning with the job description. Companies may unknowingly use discriminatory language in their job posts or have too many “preferred” skills, discouraging women from applying.
Keeping a job description concise, without outlandish business jargon, and keeping requirements tight and applicable, can encourage women to apply to tech positions.
Of course, inclusivity needs to go beyond a job description. Fostering a culture that values inclusion over exclusion can break barriers of bias. An inclusive culture accepts and even celebrates diversity in the workforce. Instilling policies and best practices that recognize diversity and proactively work to achieve a diverse workforce can incentivize women to join a company and increase retention.
Adjustments to consider in an effort to achieve an inclusive workforce can include flexible work hours, a hybrid work schedule, and sponsorship programs that focus on cultivating diverse leaders within the organization.
Flexibility in Work
As the predominant caretaker for children, women have left the workforce, sometimes permanently, to take on this tremendous responsibility. Companies might seek flexibility in work location and hours to keep women in the tech.
Allowing hybrid work, remote work, or flexible start and end times has proven to keep women at work effectively.
Seeing is believing, and women need to see a place for themselves in the tech industry by seeing other women flourishing in their tech careers. But, only 14% of tech leaders are comprised of women worldwide, which isn’t enough to move the needle forward.
To get women to these high levels, companies should consider sponsorship programs that guide women into leadership. Pushing more women through the ranks will pave the way for others to follow.
Shrink The Pay Gap
The wage gap has long been an issue, and it can discourage women from joining the tech industry or make them leave altogether. The pay gap can range from 5%-29%, based on various factors, but one aspect holds throughout, men make more money for the same skills and education as women.
Pay transparency is likely the most effective way to shrink the pay gap. Equipping employees with the knowledge of their peers pay can help them make an educated decision on what their income should be as well. Businesses can also internally create policies and procedures to track pay and promotions and keep themselves accountable.
Partners Who Can Help
At Innova, we have long been a champion of a diverse workforce and strive to promote and foster an equitable and inclusive culture. As such, we can assist our clients in achieving their diversity goals. Contact one of our many talented account managers today to learn more.