gender equality, gender balance

Article provided by Dominic Harvey, Director at CWJobs

Despite change being championed in the tech industry, the persisting gender imbalance has highlighted there’s still a huge pool of female talent that is yet to be tapped into.

According to WISE, the campaign for gender balance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, only 22 per cent of employees working in core STEM occupations are currently women. Therefore, maintaining steady growth and continued investment into the female tech workforce across the country needs to be a major focus, in order to help plug the current skills shortage.

Bringing female talent to the fore

It is great to see the numbers of girls studying STEM subjects at GCSE-level increase by 14 per cent this year. However, whilst we wait until this generation enters the workplace, there are various methods to ensure we are unlocking the widest pool of candidates.

Our Women in Tech report found 87 per cent agree there is an industry gender imbalance in favour of men, with women still being put off pursuing a career in tech because of lack of opportunities (40 per cent). Organisations must take action to highlight the importance of promoting, as well as retraining women to bring their skills to the forefront of modern businesses.

A diverse recruitment process

Recognising a female candidate’s potential is the key to diversifying the recruitment processes within the sector and attracting future talent.

Making roles more inclusive will open the recruitment process and foster diverse workplaces, ensuring an alternative way of thinking for long-term viable strategies and close the current gender imbalance. It is important for recruitment teams to get female workers involved in the hiring process, in order to appeal to more women within job adverts.

This could be inviting them into interviews and reviewing or analysing job specifications and descriptions, to evaluate what is potentially putting female candidates off applying for these positions.

Our sister brand Totaljobs has produced a Gender Bias Decoder, an incredibly useful, free tool for companies to use to uncover and identify hidden gender biased words in emails, job descriptions, or any other text, which affects how candidates and people respond.

Mentoring and support schemes

It is extremely important to celebrate the achievements of female figures in the industry, in order to encourage and retain talent. Earlier this year, our research found that 64% of women in tech claim to have been motivated by an inspirational figure to pursue their career. However, despite a role model being crucial to attracting female talent, worryingly the majority of STEM workers in the UK is at a loss when it comes to naming female role models in their industry.

At CWJobs, we have created a Women in Tech network, to improve our own gender balance. This includes holding focus groups with women in tech roles across the company to understand their biggest pain points and barriers to find out how to better support them.  We have also launched a mentoring scheme, to give women within our organisation the opportunity to be coached by senior female co-workers.

Positively promoting women who have worked their way up the ladder and carved successful careers within the industry is just the start of normalising the value of women and the significant impact they have within tech departments and wider businesses throughout the UK.