A growing awareness of the significance of diverse teams has reawakened interest in addressing one of IT’s most persistent issues: wage disparity between men and women.
While the coronavirus crisis is still ongoing, it has already had a disproportionate impact on women’s careers, with legitimate concerns that the pandemic will reverse decades of progress toward gender equality.
According to 2020 McKinsey research “COVID-19 and Gender Equality: Countering the Regressive Effects,” job losses among women are 1.8 times higher than among men as a result of COVID-19. While women account for 39% of global employment, they accounted for 54% of job.
The gender wage gap is still a troubling and persistent issue for working women.
In every way, the IT industry has transformed well during the past decade. Women professionals have made significant progress in recent years. They are defying the odds, overcoming gender bias, and carving out a niche in the industry. In every sphere, women are taking the lead.
Maria Campbell, VP of People at Griffin, says “This International Women’s Day is a reminder to celebrate and empower women. Women deserve a seat at the table, and until gender equity is achieved we need this reminder. But “more women” is not the gateway to genuine diversity – it’s just one limited and often binary axis.
We need to focus on full representation, both by demographics and perspective, across the board. Until leading businesses represent the rich makeup of society, we need to keep demanding and making change to get to a more equitable state. Technology continues to change life as we know it, as such, it’s crucial that decision-makers in the technology industry can understand and represent the vastly varied experiences, interests and needs of society.”
Here are five strategies that needs to be taken today to address the gender gap in technology:
When a tech company commits to gender parity, it’s encouraging, but without precise, quantifiable goals, they’re unlikely to succeed. As a result, companies should set explicit, incremental gender inclusivity goals. Robust onboarding processes, external coaching, reverse mentoring, and assessments that unlock sponsorship programs for high performing individuals to jump to senior leadership positions are all examples of measures that can be used to meet these goals.
These, however, are insufficient. Women must have a specified percentage of C-suite and top-tier executive positions in organizations. They should also define quarterly and annual achievement goals based on not only financial performance but also progress toward gender parity.
While complete parity in IT will certainly remain a challenge, these methods can help improve metrics and, as a result, company performance. When they’re recruited, included, and paid, many women are passionate about technology and pretty competent at it. More than ever, technology requires a wide range of skills, which isn’t always easy to come by.
Recruit in new locations
A common recruiting strategy is to look for graduates from a typical set of schools and universities with as much prestige as the job requires. This is an out-of-date approach that won’t necessarily fill all of the available tech positions. Companies should broaden their recruiting horizons and revise their hiring methods and criteria.
Women who left the workforce because of parenthood, unsupportive work situations, or the pandemic represent one rich vein of talent. These would-be returners often have no idea where to begin their re-entry. Despite the lack of a clearly defined path, an increasing number of tech businesses are pursuing talent through “returnship” programs that provide money, a skills refresh, and a chance to be rehired.
Inclusion leads to retention
According to Lenovo’s 2020 Diversity + Inclusion in the Global Workplace report, DEI policies and programs influence the job-selection decisions of more than half of candidates. Recruiting women is only half the battle; retaining them necessitates a commitment to inclusiveness. Inclusion is integrated in company culture, where every employee needs to feel respected, valued, and capable of contributing the company’s growth.
Integration of work and personal life
As caregiving responsibilities often fall primarily on women, organizations should embrace remote work, flexible hours, contract work, shared schedules and phase-in schedules to retain employees with caregiving responsibilities on board, or at least connected. Because of the pandemic employers have been forced to recognize that merging work and life is possible, and that traditional work approaches may be outdated.