Despite national conversations about gender diversity in tech, women are still underrepresented.

Only one in seven women are in middle-management tech roles, and the average length of time women stay in tech jobs is shorter than that of men.

The new research by Revolent, a Tenth Revolution Group company, shows that women in tech leave their jobs at a higher rate than men, with an average stay of just 2.5 years. This is compared to men, whose average length of service is 3.7 years.

This is happening even as a 2022 report from McKinsey found that only 52 women are promoted to manager for every 100 men across the tech industry.

In addition to research demonstrating that diverse teams are generally smarter, more productive, and more innovative than their homogeneous counterparts, a McKinsey studyreveals that 83 percent of British female millennials are actively seeking out employers with strong records on diversity, equality, and inclusion.

According to AND Digital research, $285 billion of Britain’s economic growth is at risk between now and 2026 if the nation does not tackle the digital skills gap—an estimation based on ONS estimations of a $2 trillion GDP at a 2 percent growth rate by 2026.

How many middle management tech roles do women cover?

Across Canada, the US, and the UK, women occupy just 13 percent of middle management tech roles. In Canada women make up 17 percent, and in both the US and UK the figure is 11 percent.

The average tenure for men in middle management tech roles is 3.7 years, compared to 2.5 years for women.

At the senior level, the tenure gap is 1.4 years. At lead level, the gap is 1 year.

Women make up just 22 percent of tech professionals who have a tenure of more than a decade in their role.

How to improve gender diversity in the workplace 

A gender-diverse workplace can lead to better collaboration, higher performance, innovation, and lower turnover. At the same time, when you are forthcoming and proud of your diversity efforts, it also makes it easier to attract great talent.

For starters, consider hiring more women in leadership roles. Chances are, you already have a few employees who may be suitable for executive leadership positions.

Take the steps needed to upskill or reskill your staff, especially women in senior or middle-management roles, such as directors and chief supervisors. These professionals will requireless training than a new employee, reducing your time to hire.

Meanwhile, set gender diversity targets and develop a strategy to achieve them. For example, Mercer UK is committed to increasing female representation in leadership roles by 50 percent over the next five years. The company exceeded its diversity target for 2022, achieving 37.5 percent female representation in senior positions.

Similarly, GSK wants to increase female representation in senior roles by at least 45 percent over the next three years. Goldman SachsIntel, and other leading organisations took steps in this direction, too.

Any company, big or small, can improve its hiring practices to get more women in the C-suite. Listed below are some strategies to help you achieve this goal.

  1. Provide mentorship opportunities for women 

Mentorship can increase confidence, boost leadership skills, and help women overcome gender-specific obstacles in the workplace. Moreover, employees who receive mentorship are promoted more often and experience greater job satisfaction, notes Forbes.

Some companies designate experienced employees as mentors, while others prefer to bring in someone from the outside. If your recruitment efforts are falling flat, there is also the option to partner with a recruiting firm who have a focus on diversity and inclusion and can help you to find the talent you need. For example, our Women in Tech team are dedicated to helping more companies to partner with talented female tech professionals they may otherwise not have found.

  1. Rethink your hiring process

Analyse your hiring practices and leadership policies to see what can be done to achieve a more diverse workforce. Try to identify the business units where women are under-represented and then develop a strategy to address these aspects. Go one step further and review your current employment data, including the information you hold on job applicants.

After that, draft a summary report that highlights your key findings. Use this data to develop a gender-diversity action plan. Start by training your HR team on inclusive hiring practices, such as addressing unconscious bias during job interviews. For example, by removing any personal information that could be associated with certain stereotypes, like name, gender or address.

Also, make sure your company has a diverse panel of interviewers. This will not only reduce bias during the hiring process, but also lead to a more objective perspective.

Meanwhile, try to create more inclusive job adverts by using gender-neutral language and mentioning women-friendly benefits. For example, Adobe offers 26-weeks of paid maternity leave, paid sabbaticals, wellness programs, tuition reimbursement, and other perks.

Startups and small businesses may provide a more flexible schedule, professional development plans, or onsite classes (e.g., yoga) to attract female talent. Most importantly, make an effort to close the gender pay gap and ensure fair compensation for all employees.

  1. Support women with leadership potential

Another way to get more women in the C-suite is to support those with leadership potential.

For example, you can provide training programs and networking opportunities to help women thrive in their roles. The Emerging Leaders programEWF International’s Peer Advisory Forums, and other initiatives can equip women with the skills they need to make their way to the top.

Alternatively, you may offer internal training or workshops on leadership styles, diversity and inclusion, team performance, change management, and other topics. Leadership boot camps and team-building activities can be just as effective. Such initiatives will make your company more appealing to potential hires and help you maximise existing talent.

No matter your industry or business size, it is in your power to build an inclusive workplace where women can thrive. Do not be afraid to think outside the box and change the rules of the game.

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.