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Women in Tech: How to Build a More Inclusive Culture

In a recent study, Code First Girls partnered with Tech Talent Charter (TTC) to investigate the UK’s tech talent shortage and diversity crisis. They drew data from a community of female software engineers and employees of TTC businesses, such as Gymshark, Transport of London and Shell. 

Code First Girls and TTC revealed that half of women in tech drop out by age 35. The reasons behind leaving were lack of career progression, burnout, unfair pay and inadequate leadership. This shocking finding adds to the growing digital skills and gender gap, creating a more exclusive industry.

In our blog, we identify key ways to build an inclusive culture that improves the proportion of women in tech. 

The Global Digital Skills Gap 

The demand for tech talent continues to grow at a rapid rate. Businesses wanting to keep up with a digital future now seek to bridge their skills gap with skilled experts. And this is true globally – Microsoft estimates there will be 149 million new jobs in data, AI, machine learning, software and cyber by 2025. In the IT sector, 21% of businesses plan to increase their recruitment efforts to find specialist roles. 

Despite these prospects, Code First Girls and TTC identified that by 2025, there will be only one qualified woman for every new 128 tech roles. It was noted that there are many barriers still to this day stopping more women from joining the tech workforce, including:

  • Lack of confidence (73% of respondents);
  • The assumption that the tech industry is for men (59% of respondents);
  • Sexism in the workplace (55% of respondents);
  • Minimal progression and upskilling (53% of respondents) 

4 Ways to Improve Gender Diversity in Tech

To improve the number of women in tech, businesses must build an inclusive working culture that welcomes all. Below, we list the best practices you should implement in your organisation. 

1. Career Opportunities and Development

54% of women leave tech roles because there is no clear career pathway or progression. Your organisation should offer all employees robust mentoring, sponsorship and professional development. Review the uptake of these opportunities, ensuring everyone has equal access.

Career development opportunities will upskill your team, helping you retain your competitive edge and attract better talent.

2. Job Flexibility

Implementing a flexible working policy will increase the volume of applicants to future job ads by over 30%. This will also increase your share of female applicants, who often put flexibility as a key determiner when selecting a job in tech. 

Offer agile working hours, including remote work, flexible time tailored to specific needs, e.g., childcare, four-day work week and enhanced parental leave. 

3. Workplace Safety

Sexual discrimination is a severe problem for every industry. In TTC and Code First Girls’ report, women reported that 54% experienced “mansplaining”, 41% received lower-level tasks and 31% faced unwanted sexual advances. 

As an organisation, you must eliminate these signs of unacceptable behaviour. Create policies around discrimination, harassment and toxic leadership and help safeguard those who are vulnerable to it. 

4. Equal Management

Staff members should be treated fairly, so ensuring that feedback and performance reviews are fair and objective will remove signs of unconscious bias.  

Establish benchmarks for transparent communication and explicit guidelines concerning advancement and compensation. Continuously monitor and assess wage fairness and equal distribution of work. You should also clearly define expectations and offer assistance in addressing bias-related issues.

Meet Morris Sinclair, the Female-Founded IT and Tech Recruitment Company 

Morris Sinclair is a women-owned recruitment agency specialising in the tech and IT industry. We’re on a mission to break the diversity crisis and help our clients attract and attain more women in tech. 

Our expert consultants will help you find your perfect match, so contact our team today. We’ll be in touch to help you soon. 

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