Attracting Women to the Tech Workforce
Did you know the percentage of women in the US population is just over 50%, but the percentage of women working in the tech industry is just over 25%? Some studies say it could take more than 12 years to achieve representational equality in tech.
Why aren’t there more women working in tech today? How can you attract these vital employees to your team (and incentivize them to stay)?
Why Aren’t There More Women in Tech?
To understand why there aren’t more women currently in the tech industry, we have to go way back to the beginning. While statistics show women in high school scoring higher grades than their male counterparts, there just aren’t as many women pursuing math science or computing tracks.
But how can that be? Some experts attribute the low number of women pursuing these courses of study to the way we’re raising young women in general. If you take even a casual look at the toys, shows, or products marketed towards girls in our society, there is a gross underrepresentation of women working in these fields.
This doesn’t only occur in the media we expose young women to, either. For women who do pursue tech education, mentors and role models for women in tech are far and few between.
What’s Driving Women Away from the Industry?
So, what’s the problem with the tech industry? Why aren’t more women dominating in this field?
For starters, like many industries, there is a tremendous pay gap for female employees in tech. In most markets, there is a pay gap of 10% or more between male and female employees.
And remember how we talked about the insufficient number of mentors and role models for young women pursuing careers in tech? That doesn’t stop at the college level. Less than a quarter of upper-level management positions in the tech industry are held by women. Some studies even say it’s closer to 10%
This gross underrepresentation isn’t just a bad look, either. The lack of women in leadership trickles all the way down through company culture, leaving many female employees feeling unsupported and underappreciated.
Worse yet, the lack of female leadership can (and often has) resulted in a sexist, “bro-culture” across the tech industry, leaving women feeling not just unseen, but also unsafe.
The COVID Factor
Because it’s 2022 and we’re still coping with the pandemic, we can’t ignore the way COVID-19 has affected women in the industry.
Everyone had to make changes and adjust their work lives in the last few years. Even more severely affected were parents, having to navigate not only their own challenges but those of their children as well.
Women ended up shouldering more of these impossible burdens than their male colleagues. Almost twice as many women as men reported feeling more burnt out at work amid the pandemic in a recent survey.
With women already being a minority, these increased responsibilities at home have caused even more women to leave the tech industry in recent years.
How Can You Attract More Women to Your Team?
Evaluate Your Hiring Process- Is your hiring process biased? Are there women involved in these searches? First impressions matter for both employee and candidate. Make sure your hiring process is inclusive and welcoming to female candidates.
Close the Pay Gap- This one seems like a no-brainer. Is there a pay gap between men and women in your company? It’s time to examine why that is and more importantly, close it
Offer Equal Benefits- It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking about how to make your company seem more attractive to women, but the key is to make your company more inclusive for everyone. Instead of just offering maternity leave (which often ends up in female employees being left behind), consider offering parental leave for all of your employees.
Offer a Mentorship Program- Consider a program within your company that connects women in leadership positions with new employees for guidance and support
Ensure Opportunities for Advancement- Make a concerted effort to provide opportunities for female employees to shine and excel.
Be Mindful of your Company Culture- Be sure to look critically at both the culture among current employees and your own hiring practices. The more inclusive, the better!
Our team at eHire is always here to do more than connect your business with the right talent. We help equip your team with the latest information on best practices in hiring and maintaining great employees. Reach out to us anytime for help finding the key players needed to grow your company.