Attracting women into tech and closing the gender gap

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11 February 2021 by Experis

​The huge gender gap within the tech industry is something we’re all familiar with, but despite the industry-wide push to address this imbalance, progress has been slow and there’s a lot more work to be done. To mark this year’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we’re celebrating women and girls who are leading innovation in the field, and sharing actions that must be put in place across the board to drive long-lasting change. It’s time to close the gender gap.

Promoting STEM from an early age

One cause of gender imbalance in the workplace is that girls aren’t taking STEM subjects to an advanced level, which limits the number of young women entering tech-related industries and contributes to the widespread STEM skills shortage. According to UNESCO data, only around 30% of female students picked STEM-related subjects for their higher education, with enrolment being particularly low in ICT, at just 3%. Clearly this must be addressed early on, both within schools and at home – we need to banish the idea of “girl jobs” vs “boy jobs”, promote the importance of STEM subjects, educate young people about career possibilities within these fields, call out gendered messaging in the media, and integrate STEM into free‑time activities.

Championing female role models

We also know that the gender gap exists because there aren’t enough female mentors or role models within the industry to inspire a pipeline of new talent. According to research, 78% of students can’t name a famous female working in tech and 83% of British female millennials actively seek out employers with a strong record of diversity, equality and inclusion. It’s therefore employers’ responsibility to create and embed a culture of diversity as a business priority, to create that visibility and help attract and retain women into the tech field.

Diversity is good for business

Companies with high gender diversity are more profitable than those who are less diverse. We can partly attribute this to different perspectives; girls and women think differently to boys and men. They have different ideas to offer and they approach problem-solving from angles that deviate from the so-called norm, which help drive innovation. In the rapidly changing tech industry, women in the workplace cannot be seen as a nice-to-have option. The different perspectives they bring are critical for business survival, competitive advantage and ongoing development in the market.

Our commitment to driving change

Understanding the roots of the problem are important, and so too is presenting the business case for gender balance. But action is needed to create measurable, long-term and lasting change. At Experis, we have a huge role to play in addressing the diversity gap.

That’s why we joined the Tech Talent Charter (TTC) in 2020, an industry collective bringing together hundreds of companies who are committed to addressing inequalities within the recruitment, retention and development of employees in the sector. As a market leader in the tech recruitment space, our role is not just about delivering the talent that the market needs, but also helping to develop workforces that are more reflective of our society. By partnering with the TTC, we will be measured against clear goals, report on our progress, transparently share our data and ultimately contribute to creating a more diverse workforce. We deeply care about closing the gender gap and are working to change the tech industry for good.

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