5 ways to win women in tech

Posted by Tilt Recruitment on June 8th, 2023

5 ways to win women in tech

Posted by Tilt Recruitment on June 8, 2023

5 ways to win women in tech

As the UK tech boom creates more and more jobs, the need for women to fill the skills shortage is more urgent than ever. Yet recent studies predict the tech gender gap won’t close until 2120–even though the European Institute for Gender Equality says improving gender equality would boost Europe’s GDP by 3.5% per capita by 2025.

Every tech company needs to focus on attracting, engaging and retaining women. It’s more than just the right thing to do–in the middle of a skills shortage and a cost-of-living crisis, we can’t afford not to. Here are five strategies you can use.

  1. Mind the pay gap

91% of tech companies have a pay gap. In fact, the average pay gap across the industry is 16%–11.6% bigger than the UK average! This doesn’t just mean women earn less than men for the same work–it also means women are disproportionately employed in lower-paid jobs than men.

To address this, compare pay data for men and women across your organisation, and work out how big your gender pay gap is and which areas need the most improvement. Starting with these areas, focus on tackling implicit bias in how you hire and promote people.

Document your findings in an annual report so you can track progress, and hold your organisation accountable by making the report available to employees, job applicants, and the public. As we’ve mentioned, most companies still have a way to go on this–those that have the courage to be transparent about it have the edge over the competition,

2. Make your workplace inclusive

Having a gender-inclusive workplace increases employees’ sense of belonging, value, satisfaction and happiness. Happier teams are a stunning 31% more productive, not to mention having lower employee turnover. Unfair treatment and discrimination are among the main reasons women leave the tech industry. But being inclusive isn’t just sound business sense–it’s also a legal obligation.

Make sure inclusivity starts with hiring by using gender-neutral language in your marketing materials and job descriptions. That includes not only avoiding outright sexism but also avoiding macho terms like “ninja” and “rockstar”, which you may know you mean gender-neutrally, but which a woman might suspect are code for “man”.

3. Promote women

Female role models in senior leadership roles will inspire more women to apply for jobs and put themselves forward for promotion. In fact, the relative lack of women at the top is a major contributor to the gender pay gap. Only 22% of directors in the UK are women–even though studies show that having more women at the top boosts business performance.

Because of differences in how boys and girls are raised, women may need more encouragement to put themselves forward for promotion, especially for roles where they don’t meet every point of the job description.

4. Offer mum-friendly benefits

With today’s candidates valuing benefits more than ever, it’s important to understand what benefits women value most. Maternity leave, maternity pay, flexible and remote work, breastfeeding rooms, and childcare facilities (or contributions towards childcare expenses) can all help attract and retain women and reduce what sociologists call the “motherhood penalty”–the disadvantage mothers face at work.

5. Invest in apprenticeships, internships and mentorships

The lack of an old girls’ network in STEM is a self-perpetuating problem that holds women back. 91% of workers with a career mentor say they’re happy at work, and 89% think their colleagues value their contributions. It’s often harder for women to find mentors–let alone female mentors–informally, so putting a formal structure in place to provide this will help you attract and retain women as well as preparing them for more senior roles.

Would you like some expert support with your next steps towards attracting and retaining more women? Get in touch today for a free, friendly chat.

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