How to Retain Talented Women in Technology

Encouraging women into leadership positions in IT has never been more prevalent. What are the key drivers of female retention and attrition in leadership positions? Here we take a deeper look into the most significant factors that hinder and encourage women into leadership positions.

  • Women tend to exert lower levels of self-confidence in the workplace compared to their male counterparts
  • Women’s representation falls off dramatically midway up the career ladder
  • Women lack frequent and interesting career development opportunities

What’s preventing their progression?

Research indicates that promotion prospects are hindered by family and caring responsibilities, especially in women between the ages of 31-45. A study reveals that career prospects are hindered by:

  • A lack of self-confidence (41%)
  • A lack of clarity as to what is needed to achieve promotion (36%)
  • Difficulty achieving a work-life balance (35%)

What are the five key reasons women leave an organisation?

  1. Salary
  2. Corporate culture
  3. Lack of promotion opportunities
  4. Unsociable working hours
  5. Lack of flexible hours

How do you, the employer, retain talented women?

Understanding what women are looking for in their careers is a good start. A recent study suggests that:

  • 31% of women seek opportunities for career development and progression
  • 21% seek flexible working opportunities

How do we challenge this?

Factors encouraging women to continue their career with their current company include:

  • Flexible working (63%)
  • Participation in career development programmes (57%)
  • More recognition (56%)

As an employer, where should your focus lie?

It is necessary to develop business practices that help women and the business as a whole. As a businesses, you should be clear on the factors required for progression. There is a need for:

  • Clear/established career development opportunities for women
  • Equality and diversity training / education for companies
  • Networking opportunities
  • Mentoring
  • Sharing / publicising best practices

Evidence suggests that businesses which focus on diversity and inclusivity at senior level benefit from improved performance and business success.

A few more things to think about

Recommendations to support women in leadership positions include:

  • Establishing benchmarks for excellence in order to measure progress
  • Developing training and development opportunities
  • Writing up ‘best practice case studies’ to form a guide for business leaders to retain and progress talented women
  • Setting clear criteria for achieving promotion and map them against individuals’ strengths and achievements
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