Why You Need to Hire Female Developers
When recruiting new talent, hiring managers have a lot to consider about each potential hire. Background, grit, education, experience… and yes, gender. While the push for gender equality in hiring is relevant in all fields, the impact of gender disparity—specifically in the tech field—is considerable.
While employers should naturally consider female candidates at least as strongly as their male peers, there is compelling evidence that tech employers would actually do well to prioritize qualified women. Even defining “qualified” in terms of how women present in the tech field deserves a closer look. Here’s why:
Women Built Computer Science
The field of computer engineering has long been overwhelmingly dominated by men and according to TechJury, only 20% of tech jobs worldwide are held by women. This wasn’t always the case, and actually was the other way around when computer science was in its infancy. The first coders were women, and since WWII created a shortage of male software engineers during the 1940s, women were the majority. As a result, many pioneers of early computer science were women.
For example, the first fully electronic computer (dubbed Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or ENIAC) was developed by six mathematician women now known as the ENIAC Six. Directly contributing toward the same war effort that placed them in tech, these women alone programmed the ENIAC with little more than blueprints since the purpose of the artillery-targeting computer was tightly classified. Even the term “software engineering” was coined by Margaret Hamilton to describe her work, which included coding from scratch for the Apollo project in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Women largely founded the field of computer science, and they’ve become no less of an asset to the field.
Women in Tech Tend to Work Harder
The disparity between men and women in tech roles is narrowing with slow, arduous progress. More women are coming into the field, largely thanks to STEM initiatives aimed at women and girls. The overall culture in computer engineering as a “guy’s world” persists, though, and women graduating into tech can face difficulty being taken seriously and advancing their careers.
Research by HackerRank suggests equally qualified female developers are over 3.5 times more likely than their male peers to be stagnated in junior roles, and a peer-reviewed GitHub study of 1.4 million users shows that women’s code proposals are more likely to get accepted in open-source development—but only if the accepting developer doesn’t know the proposed code was written by a woman.
Receiving less recognition for the same accomplishments, women are much more likely to think through their work and be more prepared to defend it as compared to their colleagues.
Women Are More Qualified Than They Seem
Professional gender roles run deep, and the barriers to women in computer science tend to convince them they’re not really doing as well as they are. Research by Forbes contributor and career coach Kathy Caprino finds that almost all professional women undervalue, and in turn understate, their own abilities.
This effect is stronger for women in fields with exceptionally high saturations of professional men. A Harvard survey found that women with a full eight years of programming experience report roughly the same level of confidence in their skills as first-year men. A female developer is statistically likely to hold back in stating the true quality of her skills, so if she looks qualified on her resume she’s likely to excel.
Tech Women Are More Passionate About Their Field
Societal pressures still discourage girls and women from pursuing education and work in computer science, so it’s an ongoing struggle for interested female students to stick with a tech major and then stay in the field. Women can be subject to hiring bias, more women switch out of STEM majors than men, and half the women who go into tech leave the field by age 35.
Considering all the unique challenges women face to get into and stay in computer science, women who continue in tech careers are demonstrably passionate about working in the sphere of technology.
Now that you know why women developers can be the perfect fit for your hiring needs, eHire can take care of the rest. Our tech industry experts resource our highly qualified talent pool to pair you with candidates who have the desired skills and experience. To find out more about how eHire’s recruiting specialists can find you the skilled talent you need, contact us today.