A quick glance around today’s technology sector will leave you wondering why more women can’t be found. We all know there’s a huge gender imbalance in this industry and despite all the research that shows that having a gender gap isn’t good for business, no real signs of improvement are on the horizon, even though numerous initiatives are now being introduced to boost the profiles of women within the tech world. Here, we take a closer look at what this working environment is really like for women in the modern world.
Balancing The Gender Gap In The Tech Sector
Under 7% of all tech roles in Europe are currently filled by females and part of the problem is that there are very few women actually applying for these jobs in the first place. With such a tiny pool of candidates available to employers, it’s no wonder that so few female applicants get to the interview stage.
On the upside, though, graduate and intern programmes are starting to see more CVs from women arriving on the desks of recruiters and certain areas of the technology sector are seeing a better balance between make and female employees – UX design and research, for example, has better equality in its workforce.
There is still, unfortunately, a lack of women attending tech events, though, and that can lead to intimidating experiences for females who feel outnumbered and overlooked.
Gender Diversity and its Benefits
It’s well-known that there are many benefits that come with having a more diverse workforce. Companies that are gender-diverse have a 15% greater chance of earning above-average revenues while teams that have a 50/50 gender balance are known to outperform all other teams in terms of quality of their work.
This is because women and men see things in a very different way. When it comes to the tech sector, it’s important to bear in mind that software and technology are used by both men and women, so if only one gender develops the tech a lot can be missed out of the process when it comes to understanding how it will be used.
Also, women are generally better at communicating and co-operating than men, which means that they have a lot to contribute when it comes to facilitating the smooth-running of teams and productive teamwork. Working collaboratively and starting conversations comes more naturally to women than to men who frequently prefer to work individually, and when both elements are put together in the working environment it creates the perfect mix of approaches.
Women Leading In tech
Around the globe, women remain in the minority when it comes to tech leadership. Currently under a fifth of all tech leaders are female. While this is still a small number, though, it represents an improvement over just a few years ago when there were no positive female leadership role models in the sector at all.
Women are now better represented at director, manager and team leader levels, and this is especially the case in the traditionally male-dominated environment of software engineering. Thanks to their natural communication skills, they are well-suited to leadership, even when they are skilled at the technical side of their job.
Why Should Women Choose Tech?
It goes without saying that, for women as well as men, having a career within the technology industry is a path to an exciting future. With so many roles available within this sector there’s something for virtually every women to try her hand at and thanks to the fast moving pace of developments, the opportunities are only increasing with every year.
Recruiting and Retaining Women to Tech Positions
A major challenge that faces tech companies isn’t just the recruitment of women to tech roles but actually retaining them in the long-term. Flexibility isn’t routinely on offer, and this is something that more women demand in their chosen workplace. Part-time work and job-shares aren’t standard practice in the sector even today, and that means many women leave the industry after having children as they don’t want to compromise their time spent with their families in favour of their careers.
It’s true that there’s quite a distance to go until women and men are equally enjoy an equal career split in the tech sector, but there have been a number of recent initiatives designed to promote the industry to girls from childhood. Primary-aged children are now being taught coding in the classroom, and projects have now been introduced that are tailored to meet the needs of young girls who are interested in developing their skills in this area. Hopefully, the positive impact of such schemes will be recognised over the next few years as more girls start to take technology-related courses and enter into the tech sector in the future.