The factors discouraging women from tech roles, and how your organisation can help..
A new report from Tech City UK has revealed that women are being left behind when it comes to tech roles, with just 13% aspiring to work in the industry compared to 36% of men. A further set of statistics was even more disheartening, revealing that:
- 45% of women surveyed said they felt they lacked the skills to work in tech
- 38% revealed that they lacked the required knowledge
- 24% said that tech was “not for people like them”.
When looking at a specific age group – teenagers aged between 15 and 16 – it was found that 74% of males and just 21% of female respondents wanted to work in the technology industry. For organisations worried about a skills gap now and in the future, and those aiming to redress a gender imbalance within their companies, this is very worrying indeed. Without new talent coming through from a young age, we could be facing either a complete shortage of tech talent or a continuance of male dominance in this industry – or both!
Tech City UK’s Dr George Windsor commented on the findings, saying:
“Diversity is crucial if we are to build world-beating technologies that can improve people’s lives. It is clear that more must be done, both by the technology industry, and in schools, to show young women that they are more than capable of excelling in this industry.”
Highlighting the benefits of tech careers
On a more positive note, the Tech City UK report also asked respondents to pick out the benefits of a career in IT, digital and technology:
- 55% found the exciting, fast moving nature of the industry appealing
- 50% mentioned the good salaries available
- 54% named the ‘interesting jobs’ available as a key benefit
- 45% mentioned innovative, successful brands such as Apple, Facebook and Google as key sources of interest, inspiration and motivation to consider careers in tech.
These results present an excellent starting point for organisations wishing to ‘sell’ the benefits of a career in technology during recruitment, to both male and female candidates. However, there are plenty of other ways that businesses can
Tech She Can Charter launched
One important way that organisations can encourage more women into tech roles is to join or launch initiatives such as the Tech She Can Charter and the Tech Talent Charter, both of which launched in the last 12 months with the backing of big names such as Nationwide, BT, JP Morgan, PwC and the UK Government – all with the aim of boosting the number of women in UK tech roles.
Launching your own recruitment initiative
In order to increase the number of women your organisation has in key tech roles, it’s clear that a significant change will be needed to your recruitment strategy. Businesses need to encourage diverse leadership, look into mentoring and self-advocacy and take a long, hard look at company culture and recruitment practices. This article from Entrepreneur.com is a good starting point, but much more background reading is highly recommended.
Specialist IT and tech recruiters SOLOS Consultants can also help – please contact us for a discussion if you have ambitions to improve diversity within your business.
image courtesy of thesomeday1234 @ freedigitalphotos.net