In today’s fast-paced and constantly evolving world, companies must stay competitive and innovative. One way to achieve this is by creating a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace culture. Diversity and inclusive workplaces have been shown to foster creativity, productivity, and an organization’s success. However, despite the benefits of diversity, many industries, particularly the tech industry, struggle to attract and retain female talent.
What Proportion of the Tech Industry Are Women?
The lack of women in the technology industry is a well-documented problem that has persisted for decades. The proportion of female employees varies considerably by country. In the United States, women account for only 28.8% of the tech workforce. In countries such as Georgia, Mongolia, Kiribati, and Cambodia, over 50% of the workers in the STEM field are women. We see less diversity among female tech employees, with 14.1% identifying as white, 9.6% as Asian, 2.2% as black, and 1.7% as Latin.
Why Are There So Few Women in Technology?
The reasons for the lack of female representation in tech are complex and varied. However, it boils down to two things: attraction and retention. Fewer women enter the technology industry, and more women leave the industry. Technology has long been seen as a male-dominated field. Pervasive stereotypes and biases have discouraged women from pursuing careers in tech. Additionally, there is a lack of female leaders in technology, making it difficult for women to envision themselves in a tech career. By age 35, 50% of women have left the industry. Why is it difficult to retain women in technology? According to Forbes, 20% of female employees left as a result of discrimination and harassment. Other sources document weak management, issues with work-life balance, and a lack of opportunity as driving forces.
What Can Tech Companies Do to Attract And Retain More Women?
There are steps companies can take to attract and retain women in the technology industry. As we continue to strive towards a more diverse and inclusive world, companies need to do their part in building a workforce that reflects the diversity of the world we live in. Furthermore, by taking action to attract and retain female talent, companies can build stronger, more innovative internal teams that will help them succeed in today’s fast-paced business environment. Remember, diverse teams are more innovative, productive, and successful.
Since many companies struggle to attract female talent, especially in the tech industry, we provide five proven ways companies can attract female talent and build a more diverse and inclusive team.
1. Redefine work-life balance: embrace flexibility
One of the biggest obstacles for women in the workforce is achieving a work-life balance. Women continue to take on more household responsibilities than men. Thus, they often juggle multiple responsibilities outside of work, such as caring for children, ageing parents, or other family members. This can make it challenging to commit to a traditional 9–5 work schedule.
This is where flexible work arrangements come in. Companies that offer options such as telecommuting or flexible working hours can attract women who may be unable to commit to a traditional schedule. These arrangements allow women to better manage their responsibilities outside of work and provide the flexibility they need to balance work and personal life. By offering these options, companies not only attract female talent but also create a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture that benefits all employees.
At Jarvis, we pay special attention to work-life balance, and always emphasize the importance of treating it not as a women’s issue, but as a workforce issue. Employees who feel supported in their personal lives are more productive and engaged in their work. We strongly believe that by prioritizing work-life balance and offering flexible work arrangements, companies can create a more diverse and inclusive workforce that benefits everyone involved. The experiences of our team members reflect that they agree.
2. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk: showcase your commitment to diversity and inclusion
Women, especially those from underrepresented groups, want to work for companies that value diversity and inclusion. However, simply stating a commitment to diversity and inclusion is not enough. Companies must demonstrate this commitment through their actions and practices. To attract more women into the technology industry, you can:
- Audit your current processes: Often, there are unconscious barriers that impede certain groups apply for or staying in a job. Jarvis reduces barriers by actively seeking out diverse candidates. We do this by advertising job openings to a diverse pool of candidates, using gender-neutral language in job descriptions, and training recruiters to recognize and avoid unconscious biases in the hiring process.
- Develop an inclusive culture: In addition to hiring practices, companies can showcase their commitment to diversity and inclusion through their company culture. At Jarvis, we have created an inclusive and welcoming workplace culture where all employees feel valued and respected.
- Provide resources that support underrepresented groups: We also foster diversity and inclusion through an employee resource group that provides support and resources to underrepresented employees. These groups create a sense of community and belonging that helps employees feel supported and engaged in their work.
- Get involved in the community: A commitment to diversity and inclusion can be demonstrated through community involvement. At Jarvis, we organize and support initiatives (and organizations) that promote diversity and inclusion; our commitment goes beyond our own organization and includes making a positive impact in our broader community. For example, our Women in Technology Leadership events aim to bring together women from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, to share knowledge and experiences, and to build a supportive community. Through these events, we address the gender gap in the industry by providing a space for inspirational women to share their experiences, reflect on their path to success, and motivate others to help them advance in their careers.
3. Invest in your workforce: Offer professional development opportunities
Many women in the technology industry are ambitious and seek opportunities to develop their skills and advance their careers. Professional development opportunities such as training, mentorship programs, and opportunities for advancement can be major draws for female talent. These opportunities not only help women grow in their roles but also signal the company values their career growth and is invested in their success.
At Jarvis, personal and professional development has always been a focus. To support and provide opportunities for the career development of our team members, we encourage them to develop their personal development and professional goals, which reflect desired growth in various areas. Together with their managers, they then develop growth plans that enable them to grow in the desired direction.
4. Put effort into creating a welcoming company culture
In today’s competitive job market, women are looking for more than just a job; they want to work for a company that truly welcomes them, lives by what they preach, is fair, and values their well-being. Thus, companies need to prioritize creating a welcoming and supportive company culture that aligns with the values of their female employees.
One key aspect of a supportive company culture is employee well-being. Companies that prioritize employee well-being through initiatives such as wellness programs and providing mental health resources can attract female talent who value a healthy work-life balance.
At Jarvis, the well-being of our employees plays a crucial role in our corporate culture. We believe that by creating a workplace that promotes wellness initiatives and encourages work-life balance, our employees will be happier, healthier, and more productive. That’s why our People Experience department continuously works on introducing different internal employee wellness initiatives and challenges, as well as partnerships with relevant organizations, for the benefit of our team members. It’s important to remember that everyone has different needs when it comes to work-life balance, which is why we always strive to provide a variety of options to help our employees achieve a healthy balance between work and personal life.
5. Close the gender pay gap
The gender pay gap has been a persistent issue in many industries, including the tech industry, and the pay gap widens for women in higher positions. One study found almost a $20,000 pay gap between men and women in the technology industry who had a bachelor’s degree or higher. This pay disparity has far-reaching consequences, impacting not just women’s earning potential but also their career advancement and overall well-being. Women who are paid less than their male colleagues for the same work are less likely to be satisfied with their jobs and may feel undervalued and demotivated.
Recognizing the importance of pay equity in attracting and retaining female talent, companies are starting to take action to address the gender pay gap. Some companies are conducting pay audits to identify and rectify pay disparities, while others are implementing policies to ensure that new hires are offered fair and equitable salaries.
By offering equal pay for equal work, companies can send a powerful message to female candidates that their contributions will be valued and rewarded, which can go a long way in attracting and retaining female talent in the tech industry.
In conclusion: the future is diverse
Attracting female talent is essential for building a diverse and inclusive team. At Jarvis, we’ve made a conscious effort to offer flexible work arrangements, and good benefits (such as unlimited PTO), showcase our commitment to diversity and inclusion, provide professional development opportunities, create a welcoming company culture, and pay women equally.
As a result, we’ve been able to build a more diverse and inclusive team, which has not only enhanced our company culture but also helped us better serve the diverse needs of our clients. These proven strategies will surely help you create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, too. At the end of the day, the only way to make the future more diverse is by working together.
As a Marketing Lead at Jarvis, Aida works on developing marketing projects with a strong focus on telling Jarvis’ inspiring story. She is passionate about communications in all shapes, forms, and colors.
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Jarvis is a leading IT consulting firm headquartered in Canada that provides total talent solutions with ongoing partnerships across North America’s top financial institutions, cutting-edge startups, and major technology companies.
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