Only 25% of the technology industry is made up of women. Reports of women in technology include stories of gender bias, unequal pay, and limited opportunities. Studies show a direct correlation between more women in leadership and 41% higher returns on equity as well as 56% better-operating results. Despite these studies, the tech industry remains behind when it comes to finding, hiring, and retaining women.
Companies should be interested in diversifying their work pools and benefiting from the talents and results that women can bring to the workforce.
Here are some tips to help you recruit and retain women for your open tech positions.
‘Normalize’ technology as a career path for women
The first part of solving the gender-diversity problem is to “normalize” technology as a career path for women. Part of the way cultures can normalize this is to start encouraging young women who are curious about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.
Many companies who are actively trying to diversify their workplace offer STEM scholarships and internships to women.
Provide equal pay for equal work
While it should be standard, it needs to be re-emphasized: Employers should always pay men and women equally for the same types of roles. Take a look at your payroll. What is most standard for the role you are hiring? Use this information to implement equal pay in your workplace. Payscale.com reports that women software developers, on average, make 4% less pay than their male counterparts. The study also shows that, in the workforce, men make up 89% of employed software developers.
By providing equal pay for women, you can better your chances of recruiting more qualified women in tech.
The modern workplace is becoming more digital. This means people can now work from any place where there is a WiFi connection—even while lounging on the sea!
Flexibility is one of the most important things for today’s worker. Men and women alike are looking for more flexible work options to balance their roles at home and in the office. Furthermore, offering flexible work hours and remote work options can spark female employees’ interest in a job and increase their desire to stay long-term.
If your office embraces flexibility, you should emphasize that in your job posts and recruiting information.
Change your job description
Recruiting and retaining women in tech is a challenge. Any company that wants to hire more women must check its job listings. If you are noticing women aren’t applying, it probably means that job ads need to be changed. For example, if your job post features images of candidates, you should make sure that in some of those prominent images you feature women.
Unitive and Textio software companies have built text checkers on job posts that screen for words likely to prevent a candidate from applying for a role. In their findings, they saw that terms like “aggressive”, “assertive”, and “competitive” actually deterred women from applying for tech openings. Moreover, using terms like “adaptable”, “dependable”, and “resilient” increased women’s applications.
Finally, it’s important to note that hiring more women shouldn’t be just for PR’s sake. Studies show the Fortune 500 companies that had at least three women board directors for at least five years outperformed those with zero women board of directors. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Women Rule!”
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