10 Ways To Attract More Women Into Tech Jobs

Posted by Kate Smedley on 30 Sep 2016

The controversy over the gender pay gap in the UK made headlines again this week. A report from Deloitte stated that at current rates of progress it won’t close until 2069.  Today, the pay gap stands at 9.4% and is shrinking at the rate of just 2.5 pence per year. The report suggests that one cause of the problem is the lack of women in STEM jobs. At present, women represent 14.4% of the STEM sector and hold 17% of tech jobs.

The shortage in the tech sector isn’t exclusive to the UK. Deloitte Global notes that less than 25% of tech jobs in developed countries globally will be held by women by the end of 2016. Attracting more women into tech jobs may help to alleviate the pay gap.

How can employers attract more women into tech? Here’s our advice:-

Provide role models : Overcoming stereotypical views of an industry dominated by men is vital to attract more women into tech jobs. Women need positive examples of female role models to demonstrate what is possible in a career in IT. Women comprised 16% of the top 100 CIOs in the UK in 2015. Business Insider lists 26 of the coolest women in UK tech. The industry needs more examples like these to overcome their aversion to tech jobs.

Review the wording of your job adverts : Is the wording of your job posts deterring female talent from applying to your tech jobs? By replacing the word ‘hacker’ with ‘developer’ in their job adverts, social media platform Buffer noted an increase in the number of female candidates applying to their vacancies. Recruitment analytics will provide a breakdown of the ratio of male to female applicants to your tech vacancies, including which posts have proved to be the most successful in terms of candidate quality.

Expand your networks : Broaden your talent pool by tapping into networks such as Women in STEM, TechUK and the IET’s Women’s Network to learn more about the issues faced by women in the sector. Tailor your job posts and social media pages to reflect their career aspirations and attract the talent your business needs.

Hire interns : For graduate employers, internships are an effective way of recruiting women into tech careers. The Association of Graduate Recruiters’ (AGR) annual survey showed that three quarters of graduate employers hired interns this year, with 45% of last year’s intake securing a job with the same employer. Be prepared to pay for rising tech stars, however. Social media brands including Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook pay over the odds to their interns to attract high achievers.

Highlight the positives : When employers get it right, a career in tech is a positive experience. A recently released list of the 20 happiest job titles for women ranked three tech jobs in the top 10, including Senior Program Manager in first place. AVP/Program Co-ordinator and Senior Analyst were in 7th and 8th place respectively.

Promote more women : A major new global study from Leanin.Org and McKinsey found that men are more confident than women in their promotion prospects. In the UK, men are 40% more likely to be promoted at work according to a study from the Chartered Institute for Management. These figures apply to the tech sector too and will reinforce the perception of a male dominated industry. A transparent culture of equal opportunity for all of your employees will enhance your employer brand.

Provide skills training : The shortage of digital skills is reaching a crisis point and is symptomatic of a wider apathy in UK businesses. Technology is regarded as the key to business success yet the UK is currently ranked only 14th globally for digital adoption. Training for skill doesn’t have to be restricted to your existing employees. For example, in March this year Sky launched its Get Into Tech initiative to encourage more women into careers in technology, offering free training for up to 60 women per year. Digital skills training must be part of HR employee development and engagement strategies.

Flexible working : The jobs which attract the highest number of remote or flexible workers are in sectors where skills are in short supply, according to global jobsite Indeed. This includes the computer and mathematical sector. As women are more likely to work part-time, the introduction of flexible or remote working opportunities is vital to open up your talent pool. In the US, Melinda Gates aims to attract more women into the tech sector through a number of measures, including improving family leave.

Overcome the University v small business bias : The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) notes that Universities and small businesses cannot always  see 'beyond their biases’ but they must find a way to ensure appropriate skills are being developed to meet future talent needs and more female students encouraged into all STEM subjects. Apprenticeships are an additional option but as we noted in a previous article, they are failing to attract the people they were designed for and there is some debate over both their quality and relevance.

Support with HR technology to reduce bias: An article published this week in the Wall Street Journal recommended that women in tech use only their initials online until contact with an employer has been made to ‘access opportunities that might otherwise be closed to them’. Investing in HR technology is the most effective way to evaluate your recruitment success and create a talent acquisition strategy that reduces bias. Data identifies the weak areas in your hiring process, enabling HR to introduce new initiatives to attract more female talent into tech jobs, as well as predict and plan for future hiring needs.

Hire better people faster. Invest in recruitment software used by some of the world’s leading organisations. Contact Advorto today.

You might also like to read:-

Recruiting Tech Talent : A UK Sector Analysis

Is Technology the Key To A Happier Workforce?

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Topics: industry-article

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