8 Ways To Close The Gender Gap In It And Tech-Related Jobs
The 20th century smashed centuries-old misconceptions regarding women and showed the world how a female can perform the same scientific wonders as men! From Marie Curie to Grace Hooper – we have several examples of women accomplishing the unachievable in humanity’s history. These scientists toiled passionately to ensure our astronauts’ landing safely on the surface of the moon. In the past, almost all programmers were females, but unfortunately, their talent was only recognized recently when people realized how discrimination discourages women from maintaining tech-related careers. Even today, we have a noticeable “gender gap” in IT because of which aspiring females are forced to pursue other jobs.
Making tech jobs more inclusive for women
So, how does discrimination prevent women from establishing IT careers? A survey from last year reveals that 28-42 percent of the GAFAM (major tech-related companies) workforce contains females. Similarly, another research by Gartner indicates that not even one-third of IT employees consist of women. Thus, the female representation in tech-related careers is surprisingly low considering how “woke” our society has become in the 21st century. It’s sad that 50% of women still face gender-based discrimination at work today. The situation’s even worse when we discuss women of color and how they’re treated at tech jobs. However, statistics show that adding more women in IT can bolster that firm’s productivity.
Our cry for more women in technology has scientific foundations. Statistics show that 43% of Americans consider female workers to be safer than their male counterparts. Studies have confirmed that female employees are more productive and bring innovation to the workplace too. No wonder women-managed businesses outperform other startups because females have a critical skill for leadership. So, how do we ensure that these skilled women have better chances at IT jobs in 2021? Here, we’ll discuss some methods to diminish workplace harassment/discrimination and strategies to curb the gender gap for good. Implementing these plans can help business owners make their companies more profitable.
- Upskill females in tech skills
In today’s tech-dependent world, employees must acquire digital abilities and upskill themselves to stay relevant in their careers. Women aren’t immune from these transformations. Instead, they often seem more vulnerable to the requirements of this century. So, companies can provide resources for women to help them upskill themselves by leveraging e-learning facilities. Hence, this education will prepare females for more tech-related responsibilities and contribute to a reduced gender gap.
- Introduce fair recruitment practices
Women interviewed have often discussed how they were demotivated to apply for tech jobs because of how the job description was written. It seems that unfair job descriptions can prevent potential women candidates from applying for a job since they’re afraid of not being fit for this position! So, companies should improve their hiring/recruitment practices by eliminating biases. The entire process of posting ads, interviewing applicants, and recruiting candidates must be gender-blind to ascertain transparency.
- Provide transparency in salaries
Similarly, transparency should be maintained when it comes to your workforce’s payday! It’s illegal to discriminate against your employees based on their gender and sexual identity. Unfortunately, we’ve women workers still receiving unequal salaries compared to male workers. Statistics also show that men are often offered better wages for the same role in the company. These dishonest policies have discouraged many female applicants from getting the job they deserve in the country’s IT sector.
- Offering work-life balance
According to the UN, women accomplish 2.5 more unpaid work than men. From preparing dinner to caring for children – these chores restrict ambitious women from pursuing any career. Companies should help women to achieve work-life balance by embracing shared schedules, contract work, and telecommuting. It’ll make tech jobs more convenient for female workers. The pandemic has enabled companies to realize that remote work creates more productivity and makes inclusivity possible too.
- Offer flexible work hours
Companies can help women attain work-life balance by offering flexible work hours as well. A study conducted in the UK discovered that advertising flexibility brings in 20% more female applicants. So, organizations must focus on providing these incentives to encourage women to apply for jobs in the IT industry. Since women are more involved in unpaid labor (domestic duties) than men, flexible work hours will help them overcome this handicap, upskill themselves, and become tech workers.
- Supporting them formally
Formally supporting women can also help them remain in tech jobs, surveys have found. We learn that females who stayed in IT-related careers had mentors who supported them and helped them perform their responsibilities effectively. Research indicates that 75% of women staying in tech jobs had such mentors! It means that training and mentorship are crucial for curbing the gender gap and motivating women to apply for IT-related jobs. They must be supported formally by men they trust.
- Give them leadership positions
In 2019, a report by HBR revealed that women were more skilled for leadership positions than men. Unfortunately, males show more interest in becoming managers despite females being well-equipped for such responsibilities. It’s possibly because women find workplaces a discriminatory environment where employers often make women in charge of projects destined to fail. So, managers must ensure that all employees, men and women alike, are allocated for projects equally without unfairness.
- Supporting women who return
Many women tend to take a brief hiatus from tech-related jobs for several reasons, including childcare, workplace conditions, and other personal matters. When these former employees decide to restart their careers, they’re often confused about how to resume. A Deloitte survey shows that 20% of our companies are now offering “returnship” programs with courses for women to help them refresh their abilities and return safely to the IT sector. It makes their entrance more successful.
People were shocked when Activision-Blizzard-King – one of the world’s most famous video-game companies – turned out to be a discriminatory workplace for women. A lawsuit was filed against the company that gave us games such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and Overwatch. It turned out that this California-based company had created a setting where women were objectified, harassed by coworkers, and targeted with jokes. Hence, it painted a dismal picture of how women suffer at their jobs in the IT industry.
Statistics show that female candidates were offered salaries 3% lower than their male counterparts. We also learn that men received better wages 60% of the time than women! So, how can we close this gap and make tech-related jobs more inclusive for women? We can redesign the hiring process and ascertain that our decision-making procedures are gender-blind. Companies should maintain a fair compensation structure, and women must be permitted to negotiate for better salaries for the sake of gender equality.