IT is still one of the industries that is faltering when it comes to gender equality - we need to pick up the pace on fixing it now.
While things are slowly getting better, gender diversity will be a prerequisite for a company to thrive in the future, so it's down to everyone in the sector to stop dragging their feet on this issue.
Diversity in the workforce means better financial performance and a stronger reputation, which in turn increases the quality of potential new employees.It also means diversity in skills; companies are looking for ways to distinguish themselves by adding value to their brand, product and staff.
Is IT still a difficult industry for women?
· Women in the IT industry find balancing work and personal life is difficult, even more so for women who have or wish to have a family.
· Many women reported that adjusting to the company environment was difficult, eventually leading them to losing interest in their job.
· There are only five women CEOs among 41 tech companies included in the Fortune 500 list.
Why are we still focused on women in IT?
The first and most obvious answer is that women and men are equal. However, it seems this alone is not enough to change the hiring process, therefore here are a few points to help incentivise hiring managers:
Strengthening team dynamics: Women have a proclivity in uniting people and draw together opinions and proposals; favouring the creation of teams, participation optimisation of the decision-making process.
Improved work environment: A diverse workforce better reflects a company’s client base thus providing better knowledge on consumer preference; according to Forbes, women worldwide influence up to 80% of purchase decisions.
Increases revenue: According to Mckinsey&Company, if women get a chance to work at their full potential, they will add $28 trillion to the global GDP by 2025.
Individually, businesses benefit from diversity and inclusion programs; A 2014 MIT study on workplace diversity noted that companies with a lower gender polarisation increased their revenue by as much as 41%.
How do we attract more women?
- Your job ads should reflect the image of an inclusive and welcoming culture so that women consider sending their application.
- Mention specific skills that women associate with such as collaborative working style, interpersonal skills, time management, flex working hours etc…and have a clear recruitment strategy to deliver that message.
- Companies should promote and implement leadership and skill development programs for women as well as be transparent about their maternity policies.
- Include more women in the actual hiring process which can immediately reflect on the company’s reputation.