26 Feb 5 Ways Your Organisation Can Encourage More Women into Tech
Whilst the tech industry in Australia continues to grow, attracting and retaining top female talent remains an ongoing challenge that employers are constantly battling. With women currently making up just 27.8 per cent of the IT workforce in Australia, there is no doubt that gender diversity remains an issue that it is important to address.
Recruiting and retaining women in tech has been shown to enhance diversity of thought, foster innovation amongst employees and above all, improve the bottom line. Though there is no magic formula that will shrink the gender gap, here are five proven ways your organisation can encourage more women into tech and create a workplace that fosters gender diversity.
Advertise with Purpose
Job advertisements represent the ‘face’ of your organisation and speak volumes about an organisation’s culture and values. This is where it begins – you want to speak to women in a way that encourages them to apply. This is because women and men interpret and take action on job adverts in different ways. Specifically, men are much more inclined to apply to a role if they loosely match the requirements whereas women more often will not apply unless they are a far closer match to the requirements.
Therefore, job advertisements have been shown to attract more female applicants when they:
- Use inclusive, gender-neutral language;
- Put forward a proposition that is meaningful to women;
- Encourage applications that may not fit the exact criteria;
- Are posted to female-centric media outlets. Consider posting to LinkedIn and Facebook groups for women who code.
Following on from these points, another positive change that can be made is to proactively speak to female applicants even if they don’t appear to be a perfect fit as there is a possibility that they may not have exaggerated their achievements to the same level as their male equivalents.
Gender Diverse Branding
Whilst targeting your job advertisements to women is a crucial step in increasing female applicants, it is equally important that your other marketing materials convey that your organisation values its female team members.
Conducting an inventory of your organisation’s current collateral to make sure both genders are represented, will mean that female candidates who come across your organisation are more likely to engage in the application process.
Some things you might consider when assessing marketing collateral include:
Offer Work/Life Balance
As the tech industry is still seen as a male domain, women are often deterred because they feel it won’t offer the flexibility to raise a family or pursue other interests. However, with technology now allowing people to work from anywhere, offering flexible work arrangements that allow for real work/life balance is now easier than ever.
By providing working options such as part-time schedules, job-sharing opportunities and the choice to work remotely, your organisation will not only encourage more women into tech, it will provide a workplace that encourages female employees to stay with the organisation in the long term.
Make Mentors a Priority
Identifying strong female role models within your organisation who can act as mentors for new female team members is a key factor when it comes to retaining women in tech. By establishing a strong mentoring programme, you’ll help people to feel valued and supported, create a more skilled workforce and increase retention rates.
Be sure to connect women with a mentor during the onboarding process and encourage dialogue around up-skilling, career development and shaping long term career goals.
Promote Female Achievements
Alongside the offering of a strong mentoring programme/career development opportunities, it is essential to ensure your female employees see their achievements are valued.
This could be as simple as interviewing one of your female developers to feature as a case study on your website or singling out someone for praise during a meeting. You could even go one step further by sponsoring an award that celebrates women in IT, such as the Women in Technology Awards based in Brisbane.
Whilst attracting women in the IT industry is a challenge, there’s no reason why you can’t take a proactive attitude to doing your bit in this international movement toward inclusivity. By focusing on advertising and marketing with females in mind, along with offering genuine career advancement opportunities for women in IT, you will go a long way towards giving your organisation an edge in attracting and retaining top female tech talent.
To discuss how you can enhance your talent pool’s gender diversity, or for any other tech recruitment needs in Brisbane or Canberra, contact the team at Emanate Technology.