According to research by Deloitte, only around 25% of IT jobs will be held by women by the end of 2016. Researchers believe that the situation, a lack of women in key IT, tech and digital jobs, is the same as 2015 and may even be worse. At the same time, other studies such as a recent Mind the Gap report have predicted that a huge 750,000 new digital jobs will open up in the UK by 2020. Next year alone, the digital economy is expected to grow by 15%. Will the UK be able to keep up?
With the digital market driving forward at such a breakneck pace, it could leave companies struggling to find the digital skills and talent they desperately need to stay ahead of the competition. This is not a simple situation to address, but one possible solution is for businesses to do more to attract women to digital and tech roles. There is a significant pool of untapped talent and resource out there, but how can businesses unlock its potential?
Recruiters may say that they open positions to all candidates and even market the vacancies on female-targeted websites, but this is the bare minimum they should be doing. According to recruitment experts, there are many different ways to sell STEM jobs to women and end the gendering of certain roles. Here are just a few examples of changes you can make to your recruitment process:
- Review the wording of job ads. You may not realise it, but the wording of job descriptions and adverts could be putting women off. The language you use may not appear gendered, but it could be more appealing to men than women. Do some research and use analytics tools to see the ratio of male to female applicants in response to particular ads, and make adjustment to the wording to see if these ratios change.
- Champion female role models. The best way for a woman with an interest in IT and tech to see herself in a role is to see positive examples of women doing it first. These inspiring role models help applicants to see what is possible in a tech career and overcome aversions to what have traditionally been seen as male-dominated roles. If you can promote, support and champion female role models within your company, you could find yourself with far more applications from women.
- Consider flexible working. As well as highlighting the benefits of jobs in tech to women, you can also consider a shift in working culture to make your company more appealing. Flexible working arrangements can remove another barrier to women applying for digital roles with your company.
If your business is committed to hiring more women, contact the team at SOLOS Recruitment Consultants to see what our specialist experience, female-friendly networks and wide range of resources can do to help.
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