With women representing only 33% of the tech industry, it’s a great time for businesses to redefine how they are encouraging women to not only start a career in tech, but to stay and progress within the industry. 

It’s no secret that the tech industry continues to change and develop and it’s important that businesses redefine how they study, work and live, achieving and maintain gender balances in the tech sector to stay on top of the ever-changing industry.

According to Boston Consulting Group, Australia faces a labour shortage of 18% by 2030. A skills gap in the IT sector is responsible for the bulk of this shortage. From our research, 16% of employees in the STEM area are female and companies are now becoming more committed to advancing these women and encouraging them to stay within this sector and continue to develop their skills.

Below you will see ways in which we think businesses can help support women in tech and STEM to not only stay but excel in this area.

Why is this important?

Studies have shown that, teams that are made up of a diverse background usually experience more success because it allows room for people to have different perspectives and therefore approach problem-solving issues differently, ask more varied questions and come up with innovative solutions for the problem.

Creating an equal culture

The culture businesses set within a workplace is crucial for retaining your employees. Creating gender equality should be a priority when a business is structuring their culture. Having a spokes person to represent the business to speak out publicly about this, shows that you’re taking these issues seriously. This then in return, attracts women to want to work for a company, espeically in IT, that takes gender equality seriously.

Celebrating career success

Everyone loves to be recognised and celebrated for their success, especially when it comes to your job. It’s a great idea for businesses and the wider media to share and celebrate women entering into this industry and the successes that happen.

We understand that women are the minority within the IT space and sometimes it can be hard for you to envision moving up the ladder and getting that top position that you dream of, when you aren’t seeing other women’s success stories shared publicly.

A great way to shed light to this and create new culture, is by highlighting and celebrating your female employees wins in internal communications and publish blogs on the company website about women succeeding in the company to encourage others.

Mentoring programs

Education is an important way for every employee to stay on top of what’s happening within the industry. Especially when it comes to women in tech. Research has shown that nearly 45% of women that start out a career in STEM, leave after a year.

Offering a mentoring program allows women the opportunity to stay educated and gives them the time to learn and develop skills as well as feeling empowered and supported.

Maternity leave

Maternity leave is an important matter for businesses to focus on and should be taken seriously. Both women and men taking maternity leave/paternal leave should be well supported in their return to work, by offering those flexible hours is a progressive way to combat any discrimination surrounding maternal leave.

As time goes on, having a child will not be seen as something that slows women down in any industry, especially when it comes to tech. This is something that affects both genders equally and businesses should be doing more to support both men and women that are having children.

Gender balanced hosts

If your business is getting involved with a public event or creating an event, it’s a great idea to have a gender balanced speaker line up or creating events that appeal to not just the men, but women as well. Women are more likely to leave a company if they feel as though that they’re not being represented publicly or through in-house events.

Allowing women to have a voice in tech, sets the standard for other women coming into the industry. Its great to have a role model or feel as though there is positions or a job role that is attainable for other women. The face of the company should reflect the gender equal culture that the company is aiming for.

It's important for women to feel included, seen and heard within their company. This will allow women to want to progress and stay within a company.

Conclusion

There’s many things that businesses can do to ensure women in tech are well supported and encouraged to excel. Like mentioned earlier, the tech industry is ever-changing so its important to redefine the way in which you choose to approach your company culture and how you retain your employees.

Be open to diversity and create an environment where both genders can equally excel.
 
 

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