Women in I.T. – A Closer Look
When we talk about gender inequality in the today’s workplace, it can be quite easy to miss the actual positive changes that are visible and instead focus on the majority of the negative headlines that still occupy the media.
Quotes such as “women need to work harder to be considered equally in the workplace” are still prevailing and the statistics back them up. The following statistics may indeed make the inequality issue appear bigger than it is.
- The full-time gender pay gap is 10%; the part-time pay gap is 34.5%.
- About 70% of workers on a minimum wage are women.
- 54% of women working part-time are found to be ‘employed below their potential’.
We’d like to focus particularly on the gender inequality in technology and I.T. and point out that the view is definitely not as straightforward as it sounds. There are indeed many variables that we need to consider before we categorize and judge the situation.
One such factor is that the proportion of women who work and their characteristics differ significantly between EU countries. These differences are often due to the attitudes and institutions that govern the balance between work life and private life. Individual policies on childcare and maternity leave also have a considerable impact on careers.
What we’d like to point out though is the fact that there has been a massive improvement and a lot of position change and it’s happening as we speak. One such example is that “the number of females obtaining Engineering and Technology degrees increased by 21% between 2008 and 2011” (Eurostat). We are hoping that this number will only continue to grow.
Of course the above-mentioned statistics are concerning, but there is a lot of progress being made and several strategies that can be utilized by organizations that can improve gender diversity. Here are the main ones we’d like to focus on.
- Look at pay metrics: A simple task of measuring the income of men and women at your organization which can make a big difference. What you need to be looking at is the salary at different stages, the % of promotions they are getting and other metrics related to income. This way you can ensure equal treatment.
- Monitor hire metrics: What you need to do is really simple – just choose the right person for the right job, regardless of their gender. Your business can only benefit from that choice.
- Utilize a ‘flexible’ strategy: Everyone is aware of the common women’s struggle to keep a balance between work and family. Therefore, allowing flexible working hours and ensuring childcare benefits are good strategies to address this problem. It’s a policy that doesn’t give women special rights, but supports them and thus supports entire households. One thing many organizations have adopted is offering leave for new fathers too.
- Don’t be biased: It’s possible that you, like most of us, have some internal bias and you might not even be aware of that but your judgment will be impacted by it. Don’t allow your biase to control your choice when it comes to selection criteria at work.
Some other ways to make sure you extend opportunities for women in your organization involve a restructure of your recruitment policy. You may even start engaging with young women who are doing an I.T. degree. Let’s not forget to mention that today’s I.T. and technology world is full of inspirational and successful women. Names like Maria Klawe, Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg are just a few of them.
As a successful I.T. Company, Curo Resourcing believes that women should have equal rights in the wporkplace. In fact, at the company three of the directors are women, and large proportion of the team too. Moreover, they are all extremely professional, talented and manage the work-life balance with aplomb. We are very much looking forward to more companies in the I.T. sector embracing women equally.