Shrinking the Gender Gap - Women in Tech report by YunoJuno

YunoJuno-gender-gap-imageHow can the tech world be a force for greater good in STEM roles?

Gender equality and the pay gap between sexes are two constantly recurring issues in today’s workplace. Whilst the environment might be dramatically different from half a century ago, the drive for equal representation and income parity remains at the forefront of the equality agenda.

YunoJuno, the UK’s most widely-used freelance management system, feels privileged to highlight, encourage and suggest pathways for a more egalitarian workforce. In fact they believe the freelance economy can provide incredible examples of equality and a non-biased value exchange to the labour market as a whole.

YunoJuno data reveals a 21% pay gap between developers in favour of men. Sadly, this divide is larger than any other discipline. Just 7% of women currently working as freelancers within the development sector in 2021, leaving a 93% gap.

YunoJuno spoke to several women in development and tech-focused roles about their own experiences and opinions on the matter. So, how can the tech world be a force for greater good in STEM roles?

STEM subjects at school

Of all the people YunoJuno had spoken to, only two had studied technology, maths or computer sciences at a younger age, with a further three choosing to learn their digital skills later on in their careers.

A Government report admits that the gap between younger women studying STEM topics at higher-level and employers hiring them comes from “an unmet demand in higher-education skills” from women in particular. Vanessa Ramos a Senior QA Analyst, feels the issue needs addressing earlier on for girls to really understand they have the same opportunities in the technology space as their male classmates: “If you’re trying to change the percentage of women in IT overall then that would need to start in primary schools by exposing young girls to STEM. From there, they’ll hopefully choose to do the IT degrees.”

Making your voice heard

All the interviewees had different opinions on this topic, some found no problems at all however others such as Sally Northmore Engineering Lead at iX, IBM said “sexism, inappropriate behaviour, and the low hum of tech bro culture persist”. Encouragingly, however, she also notes the major strides taking place within the industry: “there’s been a concerted effort to diversify conference panels. I remember when Software Engineer Nicole Sullivan was the only female developer panellist. Seeing her made me think— oh, I could do this as a career too, and be an expert.”

Mary Hughes, Freelance Front-end Developer shared some great advice:  “Don’t feel intimidated by a room full of men or even people who don’t look like you. Don’t ever worry about your gender, be strong and focus on doing what you love!  Stand your ground and believe in your own ability, do a good job and you will get the respect and the rewards you deserve. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions and remember making mistakes is a way we all learn.

How societal expectations play a part

Flexible working hours to accommodate school pick up/drop-offs for working mums, maternity leave, work from home, mentoring, connecting with other women in the company, equal pay to males, award recognition for women in IT, training, opportunities for on the job upskilling all need improvement.

In order to attract more women in all types of development roles, employers need to encourage flexible working environments. Vanessa Ramos, Senior QA Analyst

contests:  “flexible working hours to accommodate school pick up/drop-offs for working mums, maternity leave, work from home, mentoring, connecting with other women in the company, equal pay to males, award recognition for women in IT, training, opportunities for on the job upskilling”. These are just some of the ways employers can attract some of the best female talent.

Funding, grants and representation

It’s important that more people are aware of all options available, such as ‘coding boot camps’, that enable people to learn new skills alongside their current profession. Most women YunoJuno spoke to had re-trained or developed their technical skills later in life which again highlights the lack of encouragement from the education level but also, the incredible courage and determination that can be rewarded with new fulfilling career paths.

Kingsley Ijomah, Software Engineer and Founder of Codehance Bootcamp feels “employers can definitely make it more accessible to women by showing women on their posters and advertisements, and including women developers at the interview phase, so it becomes a norm for new developers to be interviewed by a female developer”.

As well as ensuring more companies hire women in development and tech roles, it’s also important for more voices to be heard from the existing community. Sharing the supportive communities within the tech industry is essential for promoting real opportunities that exist as well as educating those interested in the most apt pathways to success.

So, what’s next?

Currently, there are around 600,000 vacant tech roles in the UK. Larger tech companies can do more to open up more apprenticeship opportunities and internships for younger people. The UK’s government apprenticeship scheme is paid too which is something companies should be absolutely offering.

Initiatives such as elevating female voices within the industry, mentorship, access to training and upskilling are all part of a larger need to create more balance in the technology sector where females and other minorities are not only better represented but also given greater opportunities to excel.

Change begins with those in influential positions, irrespective of gender, using their standing to educate, inspire and act.Read the full report here: shrinking the gender gap

TrustRadius Women in Tech Report

2020 Women in Tech Report | TrustRadius

TrustRadius Women in Tech Report

This is the second annual Women in Tech Report published by TrustRadius to celebrate International Women’s day (and women in tech every day).

The report addresses critical issues for women in the technology industry in 2020, and incorporates responses from over 700 tech professionals.

The survey was open to everyone who works in the tech industry— women, men, and people of all other gender identities. TrustRadius invited its global audience and their networks to take part. They also made a donation to nonprofit organization Girls Who Code on behalf of participants to thank them for their time.