Alice Harling, Content & Communications Manager at Prevayl shares her thoughts on where the industry is going wrong in attracting female graduates to pursue a career in tech as well as her advice on how to improve the situation going forward.
24% of women make up the total workforce of those in computing. And a shocking 16% of tech workforces are made up of women, seeing little to no growth over the past ten years.
Diversity and inclusion is a term we continue to hear, specifically in the technology industry, however, the statistics we’re seeing are painting a very different picture about what it’s really like to be a woman in tech.
Often lower pay, less opportunity and more skills required…just for being…female?
When you speak to women within the technology industry, you hear “Oh I just fell into it”, “It was never my first career choice”. However, if you were to ask a male, that questions, often this is something they’ve always had their career attention focused on.
Well let’s think about it, what are we REALLY doing to attract female talent, specifically at graduate level?
The answer is not very much. Often when it comes to tech jobs, the skills and application of university knowledge needs to be present prior to even receiving their first job.
But it seems we’re forgetting that often graduates, will need nurturing and time to become the best at what they do. Without the opportunity given to them of trying to do the job, how will we ever know how truly great they could be within the sector?
If a young female graduate, that wants the opportunity and with a genuine passion within tech applies for your job, sometimes it is worth taking that “risk”. Often passion and enthusiasm for the job can lead to more impressive output, than that of someone with all the right skills but no drive.
Which leads onto the stage before the job offer, university. Academically, do graduates even know this is a career choice?
At university, there is little to no discussion around a career’s in technology for women. Often, unless someone is studying a STEM degree, they’re unaware that a vast range of degrees could open the doors to a career in tech.
We have a bunch of Gen-Z’s, some of the most innovative and tech-savvy people, waiting to be educated about the field and how it could be the perfect career for them. But they’re just unaware it even exists or is an accessible option with their degree.
Let’s open up discussion around the lack of women within the field from the offset and within educational settings, let’s make graduates strive for change and combat the inequalities.
Why would a woman want to go into technology?
Let’s be honest with ourselves, when have you seen a tech company launch a campaign to recruit females?
There are some very simple changes we could all be making ever when it comes to the way job advertisements are done. If hiring more women is of genuine importance to your company, make it known within the advertisement. Welcome different sexes and express that you opportune a range of people.
If you don’t recruit in-house, make a conscious effort to use resources like Women In Tech, to help find top tier female talent.
From a young age, girls are told that science, technology, engineering and maths careers are “for boys” or “geeky” if a girl enjoys those subjects. Let’s start breaking the barriers. If a girl has a passion for technology, guide their progression in education to be more tailored towards what they enjoy and are good at.
Let’s break the stigma that is so heavily ingrained from a young age.
A recent story came to light recently about a company in Manchester not hiring women and immediately deleting their CVs before reading the, only if they had a female name.
If your company culture is too “laddy” to offer a female a position, then your culture is wrong. It really is that simple. In the 21st century someone’s gender should no longer be an off-putting characteristic. It should be welcomed to bring diversity and drive innovation.
So that’s it, five things, we could all change tomorrow to bridge the skills gap and make technology a career for female graduates.
At Prevayl we recognise, appreciate and thrust our female staff forward of all ages and across our inter-disciplinary teams. We believe in an inclusive environment and are striving to make change within the industry and the inequalities it still has.