Women in Tech: How to Make Positive Change

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International Women’s Day has been celebrated annually on the 8th of March since the early 1900’s and with this, we have seen the opinions, attitudes and behaviour towards gender equality has significantly changed.

Women in the IT and technology sector have always been dramatically lower than that of men, and while companies are trying to recruit more women into these roles, there seems to be a lower number of women looking for IT roles; with the theme for 2023 being `Embrace Equity’, our IT & Development recruiters have discussed some reasons why they think it’s important for women to consider a career in this sector.

Having fresh perspectives

Women offer a different way of thinking than men and considering a woman’s viewpoint in the workplace can lead to innovative changes for a business. Organisations that positively embrace diversity by leveraging the different perspectives, skillsets, and experiences of their employees, are seeing an increase in productivity and a more creative and innovative working environment.

By having gender diversity in an IT and tech team can bring more opportunities for problem-solving solutions, leading to a better client/customer experience. This is why we need more women in the workforce. We are underutilizing powerful brain capacities and not hearing ideas that have the potential to produce better results.

Gender diversity

Gender diversity means better quality of thinking and greater ideas, however IT and technology has always been deemed as a male-dominated subject to study at school and while female peers have demonstrated that they are just as capable as their male counterparts in STEM subjects, which are often associated with careers in technology and IT,  according to a study by PwC, only 3% of women say a career in tech is their first choice, and only 16% of female students have had a career in technology suggested to them, compared to 33% of males, showing there is still a gender bias in onboarding females into tech.

Young women wanting to enter a career in IT & tech should be motivated at the point of studying. Once qualified, they should want to apply for jobs with the realistic expectation of moving up the corporate ladder as we need to see more women advance to senior positions. And as we see more women come into the IT and tech industry and advance in their roles, the likelihood of gender discrimination in employment to this sector will decrease.

Why female tech role models are important

Data from EY and the Peterson Centre for International Economics, showed that from 21,980 publicly listed international businesses in 91 countries within a variety of industries found that having at least 30% of women in executive roles, or the “C-suite,” increases net profit margin by 6%.

The more women we see in top tech and IT positions, the more it will inspire and mentor young girls. Seeing successful women in the industry will provide encouragement and show them that it is possible to pursue a career in tech and IT.

We spoke with Lisa Smart, Head of IT Service Continuity for Paragon Customer Communications to give her insight and encouragement, here is what she said… “I first started in tech working on a Helpdesk in a datacentre environment. This gave me the chance to see what opportunities were out there, that I’d not considered before. I think one of the biggest challenges has been the lack of women in senior positions which has held back people in thinking what was possible and showcasing positive role models.  This has improved massively over recent years however I think the gender perception/pay gaps still have a long way to go. Encouraging flexible working will, I believe increase the number of women. Sexism is the workplace has held people back and again I think this is improving over time albeit slowly! The landscape has changed significantly since I started out and hopefully will continue to improve as it is realised women have a lot to offer the workplace.”

For International’s Women Day, we interviewed more women in tech who work for our parent company Paragon Customer Communications. Read more interviews to gain an insight of how these amazing women got to where they are today, what inspired them and how to continue making positive change in the future to come.

How can companies can encourage women to apply for Tech & IT roles

It is important that organisations, companies, and communities continue to work to get more women into the tech and IT industries and to encourage more women to apply for these roles, companies could try the following:

  • Create gender-neutral job descriptions
  • Commit to equal pay to close any gender pay gaps
  • Avoid gender bias in the hiring and onboarding process
  • Review hiring & promotion processes for gender bias
  • Employ more women in senior positions

If you are a woman (or man) looking for an IT role, why not check out our live jobs and if you are qualified for the role – what’s stopping you from applying, you could become the next mentor!

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