Bridging the gender gap in tech – 6 ways to build a more diverse team
Are you building a diverse team?
According to a survey conducted by Tech City UK, 36% of male respondents said they planned to work in the technology industry in the future, compared to only 13% of female respondents who said they wanted to pursue a career in technology. So, what could companies be doing better in terms of attracting a more diverse workforce?
In this MM22UK talk, our panellists focused on recruitment, considering how employers might attract and retain more women in tech roles. There were six key practises that were discussed as being great ways to ensure your team are doing all they can to ensure they are building a diverse workforce both now, and in the future.
Blind recruitment practises
When determining someone’s capability, let the evidence speak for itself instead of allowing irrelevant factors such as gender or background to cloud your judgment. By simply removing the gender element of an application, you’ll take a huge step towards a more inclusive recruitment process.
Reconsider total flexibility
Working from home might be lauded as the ultimate approach, but an office space can still provide a safe and often vital environment for your team to work in. For some, having an office space can make a huge impact on whether they can maintain their performance and progress in their careers.
It’s essential to check in with your team and see if working remotely or on a hybrid basis is actually feasible for everyone. For women especially, being at home may mean being the primary caregiver, which could result in them struggling to keep up at work. Others may not have designated workspaces. Not all homes are created equal – so ensure you’re doing what you can to maintain a level-playing field.
Go beyond diversity campaigns
While International Women’s Day and other initiatives are important for raising awareness, depending too much on campaigns is not the ideal way to operate. You should be proactively working diversity into your day-to-day business life, and making it one of your core strategies. This means putting policies in place that will last throughout the year rather than just relying on short-term campaigns.
Exceed government standards
Offering attractive maternity leave packages and family-friendly policies can help you recruit and retain top female talent. Another great option is to offer ‘returnships’: short courses that support team members returning from maternity leaves or career breaks. These can help with getting skills back and up to date, particularly if technologies have developed in their absence.
Engage with schools and build connections with potential future recruits
A big part of the issue that we’re facing is that we do not have girls choosing STEM subjects at school. We must take it upon ourselves as individuals and corporates to reach out and guide girls toward choosing tech-focused studies such as computer science.
While there is always more that can be done, hopefully, the steps we’ve outlined will help your company to better engage with underrepresented groups and increase diversity in your recruitment process. We hope you take these recommendations to heart and continue to work towards a more inclusive workplace for everyone. For more support in diversifying your workplace, these are just two of the many initiatives out there worth checking out: Women in Tech and Women in eCommerce.