How to attract more women to your IT roles | Five Tips
The gender gap within the IT industry is still a problem that needs addressing as job positions are heavily filled by men. So how can employers attract women to a tech position?
Tip 1: Provide concise job adverts
Job adverts should be kept simple. The job description should be worded clearly and appeal to applicants, clearly stating what the job criteria is. Job seekers will then be able to see what the job involves, the skills and experience required, and the benefits offered to the successful candidate. Women could be more attracted to job adverts that contain
- Clear and appealing copy
- Open policies and different ways of working stating what the job will involve, for example flexible working
- Examples throughout, to make sure the job is right for the applicant
- More emphasis on soft skills, as technical skills can be learnt within the business, but soft skills are harder to train
Tip 2: Be adaptable
Offering technology opportunities at a readily available level will provide an alternative route to a career in technology. You could offer work experience and apprenticeships to STEM society members at local universities and colleges. Apprenticeships and work experience teach a person’s mindset to be adaptable in a working environment within the industry, allowing them to learn new skills. These opportunities will encourage future applicants to come forward and apply for roles, even without a specific degree or technical experience.
Did you know?
Only 27% of female university and A-Level students said that they would consider a career in technology. Compared to 61% of males, and only 3% said it was their first choice.
Source: PWC UK
Tip 3: Offer self-development opportunities
You should offer extra opportunities to self-develop existing skill sets and knowledge to both the public and your organisation, such as lunchtime learning sessions or training in general. This is a great drive to get women to apply to technology roles. The benefits of self development are:
- Improved focus and effectiveness through learning new skills or improving existing skill sets A sense of direction to see where you need to be and if you’re on track
- Increased motivation
- Greater resilience
- Increased confidence, meaning an increase in productivity and performance
Tip 4: Provide a mentorship programme
If you haven’t already got a mentorship programme in place, set one up in your organisation. You could, for example, ask women in senior positions within your organisation to mentor new recruits. This will be valuable throughout a person’s entire career. A mentor who introduces her mentee to other project related work, for example, will also introduce her to a network of people who are working on those projects. In addition, the transferrable skills learned from a mentor can be highly beneficial to a woman’s career.
Tip 5: Promote female role models
The IT environment needs women who work in technology to make their presence known. To demonstrate a sense of possibility, women in technology should showcase their achievements within their career journey in tech. Female role models who break the barrier into tech, remove the stereotype that everyone who works in IT are male ‘nerds’. Instead they can contribute to changing it to a non-stereotypical industry with a range of people who work in IT.
Many females put aside considering a technology career because not enough information is being put forward. If employers want to attract more females to the industry and their team, they should externally highlight how technology is a force for good and the variety of options they have across the industry.