The gap remains wide for hiring women in IT roles. This is unfortunate, for at the same time, a diverse workforce often leads to better hiring practices, more engaged employees, and higher retention rates. Just how wide is the gap? The following statistics show just how considerable the disparity has become:
- According to the 2016 study by the National Center for Women and Information Technology, only 25% of tech jobs are held by women. Even with efforts to make tech a more diverse field, this has declined since 1991 when it was 36%.
- When it comes to education and computer science degrees, there has also been a decline. Only 19% of computer science degrees were earned by women in 2016 as opposed to 27% in 1997.
- In the computer science field, only 38% of women choose this as their major, compared to 53% of men.
- When it comes to women in the engineering field, only 24% of women with an engineering degree are still working in the field, compared to 30% of men.
- Lastly, the number of women in management and executive-level positions in places like Silicon Valley are merely 14.3%.
Why has Hiring Women in IT Been Difficult?
Sadly, even in our modern era, hiring women in IT has been stymied by perceived and/or actual gender discrimination in the workplace. One pivotal study in The Guardian found that 73% of men and women in the tech world believed the industry to be sexist as recently as 2014.
A more recent study by Pew Research revealed that 50% of women in tech roles have experienced gender discrimination. This is reflected in poor workplace environments and culture, unfair hiring practices, and a generally misconstrued view that women can’t handle the demands of a complex and fast-paced IT environment.
Discrimination in pay is also a major factor that makes hiring women in IT difficult. Yet another study by Hired.com found that 60% of women are paid less than male counterparts in the same position. Only 24% of males experienced the same treatment.
How to Recruit, Attract, and Begin Hiring Women in IT
Obviously, companies can do more for hiring women in IT by paying more attention to education and qualifications than gender. Blank out any concerns that restrict diversity when choosing qualified employees and offer the exact same pay and benefits that all similar employees enjoy. But saying these things is far different than living them; many women in IT are accustomed to high talk and low results.
Here are some valuable suggestions you can use to recruit, attract, and begin hiring women in IT roles.
Offer Equal Benefits
Begin with the basics of offering equal benefits for all your employees. This only starts with equal pay for similar education, training, experience, and professional qualifications. It should also include equal benefits for paid time off, family leave, sick pay, vacation, etc., as well as educational assistance, opportunities for professional development, and consideration for advancement within the company.
Create an Inclusive Culture
The above will go far toward creating an inclusive culture in your company. But continue by ensuring all your company practices are inclusive of both men and women. Events, both within and outside the company walls, should be welcoming and accommodating for everyone. A great way to promote this is by hosting family-friendly events that consider the best time, preparation, and offerings for everyone. Here are more suggestions:
- Develop and model the behaviors you expect from the top down.
- Actively recruit qualified female employees.
- Offer remote work options if possible.
- Offer flexible work hours if possible.
- Build a robust diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) program.
- Prioritize and offer benefits for mental and physical well-being.
- Solicit male and female employee feedback to better address their concerns.
Make Your Brand Known for Inclusivity
What else can you do to benefit all your employees? Share this with the world across your social media, web pages, and company communications. You may not have to offer on-site massages or laundry services like Google, but you can provide certain perks and benefits that make you stand out as a quality employer for anyone and everyone. Let your inclusive mindset and focus be known in all you do.
Women in IT — MHO Wants to Hear from You!
Are you a woman in the tech and computer science field? MHO wants to hear from you! Even if we don’t have any current job postings, we are often actively looking for great talent. Please send your resume through email@example.com.