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Continuing the evolution of the tech industry
In 2015, just 17% of technology-based job roles were filled by women. Consequently, the technology sector has put great effort and resources into increasing its wider appeal. This approach has led to an increase in the number of women applying to technology-based role. At Noir, we have seen a 20% increase in the past year in the number of applications from women, a clear sign that the sector is starting to move in the right direction. This is fantastic news, as it strengthens the talent pool and increases the talent within the sector. However, this is not the time to let off the accelerator! So, what more can clients do to improve the current imbalance?
To increase the appeal of the sector, it would seem intuitive to ensure that all employees are considered equal. This means employers need to ensure that female employees receive equal pay for equal work, a fair working environment and expansive maternity programmes. Furthermore, employers need to continue and enhance non-traditional working practices. For example, it is traditional that women will inevitably receive longer parental leave than their male counterparts. This way of thinking can cause concern for some women who feel that they can fall behind and be consequently disadvantaged. One possible solution could be to offer equal leave and pay to all employees, no matter of gender. This would allow male colleagues to spend equal time within the family home, while reducing pressure on women. Flexibility and equality are key to ensure the sector is fair to all.
Fundamentally, studies have shown that at the schooling level, fewer females than males take part in technology specific courses. It is therefore logical to conclude that the gender gap begins in educational institutions. It is essential for employers to begin early and engage with academic institutions to stress the importance of the sector and highlight the unique benefits a career in the technology sector can have. For example, technology companies should look to provide opportunities that are all inclusive. Attending career fairs and offering work experiences can be a good way to engage with women and give them insight into the future they could explore. By increasing the appeal of the sector at an early stage, one would hope to see greater engagement further down the career line.
Success breeds success! For women looking at a potential role in the technology sector, seeing role models and other successful women in top roles can be hugely inspiring. It encourages confidence in tech companies, and the wider sector, that they really are doing all they can to provide an equal opportunity to progress. Overtime, this effect will escalate, hopefully resulting in the leaders of tomorrow entering junior technology focused roles.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it does highlight three areas where the technology sector needs to continue to grow and develop. It is essential for the future of the industry that the talent pool continues to grow, especially as the sector continues to grow. Women will play a pivotal role in that growth, and consequently, the sooner our sector employs strategies to encourage inclusiveness, the sooner we all benefit from the new female talent entering the technology world.