Since our last piece on bridging the gender gap in the tech industry over a year ago, we have seen notable strides forward. As of 2023, the percentage of women in IT had shown a slight uptick at 26% from the 19% figure in 2019. This shift signals a growing recognition among companies to place diversity and inclusion at the forefront of their recruitment strategies. However, the journey is far from over from what we see day to day at Consortia, particularly in male-dominated sectors like data and engineering and, at times, in product and UX roles.
Why Gender Equality is Crucial in Tech
In markets where innovation is key, gender equality is a business necessity as much as it is a moral imperative. From pay disparities to company culture, there are a vast number of areas needing attention. A prime starting point? The recruitment process. Eliminating gender bias in hiring is a solid first step towards creating a diverse workplace, particularly in engineering and data science roles that traditionally skew male.
Understanding and Overcoming Gender Bias
Gender bias, rooted in stereotypical notions about gender capabilities, can be detrimental to an organisation. It's not just about overlooking talented candidates; it's about limiting your company's potential. A homogenous team can lead to myopic decision-making, slowing innovation and growth in industries like UX and product management, where understanding diverse user experiences is crucial.
Tactics for Bias-Free Recruitment
- Gender Bias Training: Equip your interviewers with knowledge about gender equity and the value of diverse teams. Training helps them recognise and dismantle inherent biases.
- Structured Interviews: Switching to a structured format is particularly effective in UX and product roles. By grading applicants on a predetermined list and using standardised questions, you ensure fair assessment based on objective criteria.
- Multi-Person Interview Panels: Using a panel rather than a single interviewer brings varied perspectives.
- Diverse Interview Panels: To encourage more balanced hiring decisions, go a step further and make the panel diverse in gender, experience, and background. This approach is not only fairer but may also be less intimidating for candidates from underrepresented groups.
- Skill-Based Assessments: In technical domains like data science and engineering, skill-based tasks can accurately represent a candidate's capabilities. However, these must be balanced with the candidate's experience as they are often unpopular.
Job adverts, particularly in senior tech roles such as ‘heads of’ or ‘Lead’, often inadvertently use male-coded language, which may discourage female applicants. To address this, you can use an online tool to check your language and explicitly include salary details in the adverts. Women, often more reluctant to ask about pay, will likely feel more encouraged to apply if remuneration is transparent. This approach widens the applicant pool and promotes an equitable and transparent recruitment process.
Commitment to Diversity in Tech Recruitment
Our agency has excelled in sourcing talent for UX, product management, engineering, and data science roles for over 10 years, with a keen focus on promoting diversity. We implement strategies like using gender-neutral language in job ads and ensuring fair screening processes aimed at minimising gender bias. Our expertise lies in assembling a diverse, skilled, and unbiased talent pool, which is crucial for a robust tech workforce. By partnering with us, you're taking a significant step toward building a team that embraces diversity and thrives on it.
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