Although things have come a long way and overt discrimination is no longer tolerated, women still face many barriers in the workplace. This is especially true for the technology sector, in which women are significantly underrepresented.
It’s incredibly important for women to have equal access to the technology industry, as it’s a lucrative sector. Far-reaching progress for women in general can be achieved by addressing inequality in this one area.
With many factors at play, it can be difficult to get to the bottom of just why exactly women are so underrepresented in technology. However, there are some key factors that, if addressed, would make huge contributions to progress. So, what are they and what can be done to resolve them?
Inspire girls from a young age
The issue begins way before women are ready to embark on their careers. There is a serious lack of awareness of technology as a viable sector for women to have a career in.
Research shows that 78% of students can’t name a famous female working in technology and only 16% of females have ever had a career in tech suggested to them.
Schools and even universities need to do more to raise awareness and promote technology careersto girls during education.
They can easily do this by bringing in female tech role models to give talks or even through more interactive lessons – for example, using classroom kits that help students learn tech skills while having fun.
Change recruitment strategies
Often status-quo recruitment processes in a male-dominated industry create barriers for women. Companies should remodel their strategies for recruitment in order to create as little friction for women as possible.
This could be something as small as ensuring that they use gender-neutral language when listing job openings. Additionally, speaking with employees of both genders during the recruiting process can help women feel more comfortable with prospective jobs. This will also involve more diverse perspectives in answering the interviewee’s questions, meaning that they will be more likely to get the information they need to know if the job is a good fit for them.
Resolve the pay gap
Research has found that 78% of large organisations admitted to having a gender pay gap in tech.
While there are a variety of factors that influence the pay gap, in cases where male and female candidates have equal skills and experience, it’s unacceptable for them to receive unequal pay.
The gender pay gap helps dissuade women from entering technology jobs. As a serious barrier to women in tech, companies need to do more to resolve the pay gap so that young women embarking on their careers have a greater incentive to enter into technology positions.
Continue to learn and change
Accepting the way that things currently are and being complacent stifles progress. Everyone can help accelerate progress by keeping an open mind, learning new ideas about inequality, and implementing them to effect change.