The technology gender debate is stuck in a rut says ReThink
In light of recent news that twenty leading brands have committed to the WISE (Women in Science, Technology and Engineering) ten-point-plan intended to increase female numbers in the industry, the specialist business and technology recruiter has argued that this isn’t the best solution.
Instead, the company calls on those really dedicated to driving equality in the sector to go directly to females making their education decisions to find out what they really want from their future career – and, crucially, establish what is holding them back.
Michael Bennett, managing director at ReThink Recruitment explains:
“The idea of getting more women into technology is quite frankly old news. The industry has long debated how to solve the gender imbalance, but despite this, female representatives in leading brands remain low. For example, women only fill around 15% of technology roles at Facebook and at Twitter this number is a mere 10%. These figures are indicative of the general trend, with a recent survey from The Chartered Institute for IT revealing that women make up just 15-18% of IT professionals. Clearly the approaches many in the sector are using aren’t working. It’s time the industry woke up and asked itself & lsquo;what is it that’s really holding women back?’ Is it the corporate culture alone, or is there much more to this?”
“I’d argue that the challenge is, in fact, the disconnect with this audience at a pivotal point in their career lifecycle - before GCSE level. What is lacking is the direct engagement with females to identify what attracts them into a specific industry – something businesses need to be working with teaching institutions to do when this audience is in the early stages of their education. This simple conversation can enable organisations to clarify what students really want in their career and what is stopping them from going into technology. It could simply be that the age-old stereotype of the sector still exists, for example. This engagement will also allow those in the industry to explain clearly just what great opportunities the technology arena holds for innovative individuals.”
“It’s only once this conversation has taken place that the industry can develop more targeted talent attraction strategies that solve the challenge at its root cause and perhaps give technology the makeover it needs.”