Diversity and Inclusion – Women in Tech
We’ve interviewed 70 companies in the Technology domain about their approach to hiring a diverse and inclusive workforce, with an emphasis on attracting more female IT talent specifically. After conducting this research, we highlight some of the best practices we found.
It is widely accepted that diverse teams perform better, and parts of the IT and Tech sector often struggle with gender diversity in their organisations. A McKinsey study found that diverse companies perform better, hire better talent, have more engaged employees, and retain workers better than companies that do not focus on diversity and inclusion.
Attracting top tier female talent in IT and Tech has been a hot topic in recent years as organisations discuss their Diversity & Inclusion programs and how to level the playing field when it comes to gender balance in the workplace. Many Hiring Managers may be missing out on attracting female talent due to a failure to deliver a gender-inclusive recruitment process.
What does a gender-inclusive recruitment process look like?
We asked the IT and Tech companies we interviewed this question. We found through our research that 52% of companies we interviewed actively put an emphasis on tailoring their recruitment process to increase the number of female employees in their Information Technology teams. While only 13% of companies are totally unaware of any kind of gender-inclusive recruitment activities happening internally within these companies. To create a pipeline of diverse and inclusive candidates the best organisations and companies in this area have created and are delivering a gender-inclusive recruitment process.
Training and Awareness:
The companies who are doing the best at attracting female tech talent are making a point of Diversity and Inclusion in their Workforce planning, then make a point of educating and training all of the employees involved in the recruitment and onboarding process of the importance of using universally unbiased language during the interview process with candidates. Look into training courses and workshops in relation to this.
Job Descriptions and Advertisements:
The best examples from companies highlight the use of gender-neutral and non-biased language in their IT and Technology job descriptions and advertisements. Some are using software applications and tools such as Textio to test your Job Descriptions for biased language and phases before posting. Research from LinkedIn found that women are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet close to 100% of the required skills, include a “nice to have section” for any skills that are not a must have. The best examples of companies hiring female software engineers, demonstrated and conveyed the organisations stance and company culture mindset in relation to Diversity and Inclusion in job advertisements.
If your organisation utilizes recruitment agency partners, ensure you are choosing a recruitment agency or recruitment consultancy that has a proven track record in engaging with and placing diverse candidates. The same goes for an internal recruitment team, ensure you are asking about the partners track record and their D&I sourcing strategies.
Create a United Front:
We found, that companies who were experiencing the most success in hiring talented females into technical roles, had people from diverse backgrounds on the interview hiring panel. They often had women in leadership roles, and at the forefront of marketing and advertising online campaigns make a major impact in attracting additional D&I applicants. Many organisations are creating Blogposts of D&I employees discussing their growth and progression within the organisation to convey an environment of equal opportunity for female candidates.
Brand Affiliation and Initiatives:
Companies with high success in attracting female tech talent were found to be associating their brand with third party organisations and initiatives to attract diverse candidate pools. Have your internal current D&I Employees speak at events, attend conferences, conduct webinars, in association with already successful initiatives such as Women in Tech, WomenREBOOT Program or speaking at careers events in universities.
In short, unfortunately, there is no quick fix to becoming a gender-balanced workplace. The companies that have been most successful on their diversity and inclusion journey’s have made a point of including these steps in their workforce planning and have made it a clear part of their company culture and identity. It is important along the way to celebrate achieving goals and milestones to keep overall morale high.
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