Childcare, construction – there’s a lot of traditionally gendered industries, and the technology sector has become one of them. But with an increasing emphasis on diversity – and its many organisational benefits – are things changing? And if not, why not?
Do tech employees think there’s a diversity problem?
In a major study of Glassdoor reviews, only 0.5% of staff in major tech companies flagged that D&I was an issue. That sounds like good news, right? If there was a diversity problem in the tech industry, wouldn’t employees be discussing it?
The thing is, if there’s not enough women in tech, there’s not enough women to complain about that being the case.
What does the data say about women in tech?
- Only 26.7% of tech jobs are held by women
- Women leave the tech sector at a much higher rate than men – 45%!
- Big tech companies (10,000+ employees) report 26.2% of staff are women
The numbers don’t lie. There’s a disproportionate gender split in the technology sector that’s not going away anytime soon. But this poses another question…
How can organisations know if they’re similarly ‘bad’ when it comes to gender ratios, or if they’re leading the fight for parity, or even if their culture is inclusive enough to maintain this – assuming any of their D&I hiring practices are successful?
We’ve got some ideas…
Your 4-step plan for gender parity in the technology sector:
1. Compare your HR data to industry benchmarks
How long is a piece of string? Everything is relative, so measuring your organisation’s gender ratio against industry and region-specific benchmarks is a good place to start. Understand the scale of the problem – are you reflecting the struggle women face, challenging it, or falling short of the already low bar?
You can access free benchmarks when you sign up to Qlearsite, and integrate your HR data. They’re industry-specific, localised, and updated frequently – so you can understand where you stand, when it comes to gender ratios.
2. Send a survey to measure diversity and inclusion
Whether you’re falling behind or on par with industry benchmarks (which, don’t forget, means there’s work to be done!), your next step is to see what your team thinks. Sending an Inclusion Survey means you’ll understand if your organisation is set-up for success, when that gender balance does stabilise. Because if your culture isn’t inclusive, people will choose to leave.
On our People Analytics Platform, you can send employee surveys quickly and easily. They’re pre-built, brandable, and can be sent in minutes… and as soon as the results are back, advanced text analytics does the hard work for you. You’ll see most-discussed topics, and whether topics are discussed negatively or positively.
3. Review your data and feedback to find answers
Feedback AND data, qualitative AND quantitative – that’s the key to understanding the bigger picture. If you know you have a gender imbalance, can you see what the less-represented demographic flags in their feedback? If you don’t, can you see whether everyone feels included? Can you spot any issues in specific teams you can address?
Over 50% of women in tech report discrimination of some kind, so listening to their voices – however few – are a key part of the puzzle.
4. Share results, make a plan, take action
Our platform makes it easy to share results, build reports, and make an action plan – because that’s the whole point of this exercise. How is your organisation going to be part of redressing the balance? What concrete steps can you take?
Here’s an example of why action matters: organisations that have mandatory gender equality training around recruitment hire more women than those who make it voluntary. It’s easy to pass it off as an ‘industry issue’ or a ‘societal factor’. But if everyone thinks that way, nothing changes. So approaching D&I challenges in a nuanced, data-driven, listening-focused way is absolutely key.