How Is Tech Becoming More Inclusive? The Facts You Need to Know

How Is Tech Becoming More Inclusive? The Facts You Need to Know

In the United Kingdom, females account for just 17 percent of the tech workforce. In the United States, that figure is somewhat higher, at 25 percent. Though there is still progress to be made in terms of creating a level playing field, many tech companies are striving to correct the imbalance.

Tech has traditionally been male-dominated, but the tide is beginning to turn. Employers are seeking to become more inclusive, employing more women. Here, we look at the importance of implementing equal opportunity strategies, as well as some of the most diverse global tech companies.

Gender equality can be fostered.

Companies can choose to foster gender equality in numerous ways. Some delete gender from CVs, insist that job applicant shortlists include multiple women, and train their staff in unconscious bias awareness. Others offer enhanced maternity rights, improved referral incentives, and retraining programs for returning workers who are female.

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Social media is a powerful tool for corporations to attract new employees. By showcasing female role models, tech companies can use this platform very effectively to increase the presence of female leaders within the workforce.

Gender equality is important to employees and society.

Gender equality, and indeed diversity of all kinds, fosters mutual respect and encourages synergy. Though many groups have historically been marginalized due to factors including gender, age, race, or disability status, attitudes are changing.

When people cannot find work in line with their abilities and training, they become less financially secure. Their standard of living suffers. This not only negatively impacts individuals and their families, but it can take a massive toll on society.

It is not just a waste of talent, but leads to less money being circulated within the local economy. It is also divisive to communities, breeding resentment and unrest.

Gender equality is profitable.

Adopting an equal opportunity approach is an effective way of enhancing a company’s reputation, ultimately resulting in increased profitability and improving worker opportunities. Looking at the issue of women in the workplace specifically, 50.8 percent of the US population is female. If businesses want to attract more female customers, it stands to reason that they need to employ more women.

By diversifying the workplace, employers integrate people with different skill sets, points of view, and experience, all of which help a company to grow. People of different genders, sexual orientation, culture, and abilities all bring their unique life experiences and viewpoints to the table.

Many tech employers have far to go before they are truly providing equal opportunities. Many more are recognizing the benefits of diversity, both in terms of growing their workforces and helping their businesses to flourish.

Vodafone is working to attract job applicants who are female.

Multinational corporations are addressing the gender gap. Vodafone is actively seeking out female employees to create more diversity in its workforce. Today, the telecom company scrutinizes every one of its job ads, checking for language containing gender bias that could discourage applicants who are women.

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It is replacing adjectives like “aggressive” and “outstanding” for more gender-neutral terms, like “extraordinary” and “bold.” In 2018, at the conclusion of a three-month trial, Vodafone found that by rephrasing job ads in this way, it recruited 7 percent more women.

HP is one of the most diverse US tech companies.

At HP, 45 percent of the company’s board is female, while women represent 37 percent of HP’s global workforce. More than 50 percent of HP’s UK interns are women, a ratio the company is committed to maintaining. HPs advertising and PR agencies, as well as its lawyers, are required to adhere to the company’s stringent diversity requirements.

Additionally, 55 percent of HP’s board of directors come from ethnic minorities. Of United States hires, 62 percent of new employees are women, veterans, disabled, or come from a minority. The company operate a fair and equitable pay scheme, and has ranked as Working Mother Magazine’s Best US Company for the past 27 years.

IBM is a leader in terms of gender equality.

IBM offers competitive parental leave policies, including 20weeks of paid maternity leave as well as 12 weeks paid leave for partners, fathers, and adoptive parents. The company also offer adoptive or surrogate employees a $20,000 reimbursement package, which is awarded even they are unable to complete the process.

Additionally, IBM offer returning parents flexi-time, enabling them to collect their children from school, attend special events, or attend doctor’s appointments. Nursing mothers are provided with a courier service while away on business trips, enabling them to send breast milk back home to their children.

IBM also reimburse staff for physical, mental and developmental disability services provided to their children, of up to $50,000 dollars per child. All of these perks are provided to both their full and part-time staff, making IBM one of the most inclusive, family-friendly, and socially-responsible US employers.

As time goes on, hopefully, more tech companies will follow the lead of companies like Vodafone, HP, and IBM.

About the Author

Joanna RileyJoanna (Jo) Riley is an entrepreneur, investor, and advocate in technology, and is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Censia. Jo has a highly experienced background in building and scaling companies, which she attributes to her deep passion for people and building technologies that allow people to be their best selves. She brings her wide knowledge of the industry to better transform the way enterprise companies hire talent. You can connect with Joanna Riley at @joannakiddriley on Twitter or on Linkedin. Read her full bio here.