Women in Tech – How to Address the Balance

Background

Let’s kick off with some global stats that will be new news to you. 

  • Only about 25% of jobs in technology were held by women in 2021.  
  • Bulgaria is the country with the most women in tech – 30.28%. 
  • The overall gender pay gap is highest in South Korea – 37.18%. 
  • The tech pay gap is highest in South Korea – 41.17%. 
  • 50.25% of the workforce in Latvia is composed of women. 
  • Sweden boasts the highest percentage of women in parliament – 43.5%. 
  • Hungary and Slovakia have 0% of women in ministerial positions. 

 The same survey found that advances in gender equality can result in a $12 trillion boost to the global GDP by 2025. On a global scale, we are heading towards 40% of women in tech positions in the next 5 -10 years. 

For us as a business, we struggle with the ongoing lack of diversity in the employment pool – finding those skill sets we require honestly seem entirely dominated by males. Not new news we all know this, so our approach is to pull women into the business in roles where we can and then to support initiatives that will ensure the future balance is being addressed. We are frankly very aware that with fewer women throughout the business we are actually helping our competition.  

The longer-term solution comes from knowing where the lack of women in tech stems from? Well, there are many reasons but here are the top ones we know about and target to overcome:

  • Lack of mentors – an overall lack of female role models in the same field.
  • Perceived gender bias in the workplace.
  • A perceived imbalance in career growth opportunities
  • Concern about lack of support or qualification for a role

We have broken down these 5 elements as a focus for our leadership team to tackle. We have a diversity plan (thanks to our amazing Diversity and Inclusion Advisor Amy Newton) knowing just how urgently this balance needs to be addressed throughout the industry as a whole but for us – it will be the sector to our ongoing success.

Both our newly appointed Head of People, Rebecca Ives, and our Head of Marketing, Emily Grice are balancing things out and we actively look to promote all our female colleagues as role models. In fact, Emily is a mentor for WiT and has been active in this space for many years.

But women in tech across the business is about balance, not just profitability. A few more stats to understand why the landscape is so out of whack.

Current Challenge

We know the problem starts young – it tracks all the way back to school and a real change will come when the diversity split is addressed at the very beginning. Until then watching and supporting initiatives like ‘Girls Who Code’ or the ‘Stemettes’ are key for us. We know we need to diversify our recruitment channels and our HR director is on it! Screening is much more about the personalities and drive and less about skills that we know we can teach.

Working ethics and practices like flexible hours and continued support and training are key for us in seeing through the ambition to drive this change. Frankly we also know STEM careers are not the first choice among women – it’s the facts of the matter. So, it’s our job to prove why a career with us is a good choice. We do this through engagements that show we really are not dull techy geeks –working with us and in tech is actually very rewarding!  And frankly often blooming good fun! We are driving forward with brand activities that show we really are a great bunch to work with!

Change comes from action across the board – the mindset changed decades ago for us, all raised by strong women we know the secret to our success lies with the female race! So, with that said it’s now about reaching out to an audience with a bit of ‘what they want’ and why we deserve women in our business.

What are we doing?

  • We support and align with WiT we work with regularly and ensuring they are font and centre acting as role models
  • Spike Diversity Forum: Individuals from across the business pushing diversity agenda.
  • Internal set-up to support and develop skills – training & buddy initiatives
  • We offer flexible-work practices and “work from anywhere”
  • Recruitment ads written to appeal to diverse applicants
  • Supplemented by advertising across demographic-specific job boards
  • Women in Tech Ambassadors – within our organization
  • Partnering with key groups to bolster the size of our engaged talent pool
  • Referring female talent: We work with partners that as a network share and refer

Ultimately none of this will be a problem when the skills have been built through the entire lifecycle, but until the world has got there, we will be supporting programmes and investing ourselves in bridging that gap.

We are continually pushing our commitment to advance gender diversity in tech. It’s a long way to go yet, but we are in for the long haul and have measures in place and targets to meet. So, if you know women interested in a career in technology that we need to talk to please let us know! Or if YOU are a woman and like what you’ve read and are interested in working with the brightest sparks in e-commerce tech please get in touch – WE NEED YOU info@wearespike.co.uk.