Category Archives: Gender Disparity

Lets Break Barriers! Revolutionizing Recruitment to Empower Women In Tech

Written by Jenny Briant, Academy Operations Director at Ten10

Diversity has been a constant struggle for businesses, particularly in the tech industry and it comes simply just comes down to the lack of accessibility. We know that diverse teams can offer businesses so much, but outdated practices have made creating a diverse team challenging. Recruitment practices that aren’t always accommodating for women, particularly mothers, mean hiring teams are deterring a large population of potential talent.

Your job description is your first point of contact with a candidate. As such, it plays a central role in their perception of the company, the job role itself and the work environment. Bias language can seem subtle but makes an impression on a potential female candidate. I’ve previously seen words used such as ‘dominant’, ‘assertive’ or even something like ‘rockstar programmer’ – these can be so off-putting and daunting. These are words that are largely associated with men and often, albeit perhaps unintentionally, reflect traditional gender roles and stereotypes that can deter a female applicant.

Soft skills are increasingly becoming more important, especially in the tech industry; an industry that has historically placed emphasis on hard technical skills. One of the things I have recognised when I talk to female candidates is their hesitancy when they think they don’t have the right qualifications for a role despite clearly having demonstrable soft skills that are transferable to a lot of roles. Soft skills can mean anything from influencing others to emotional intelligence to resiliency, and all are hugely valuable to companies. And this is the case more so now than ever before as automation of technological skills increases, the need for soft skills, critical and creative thinking, as well as people management will become ever more important. There are also more roles in technology than ever before and roles beyond these super-technical skills.

 

How to change the workplace to accommodate them?

Imposter syndrome is a massive problem for women throughout the workforce, and disproportionality affects them, over their male colleagues. Essentially, imposter syndrome describes the feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt in your ability at your job. Mothers in particular, are more likely to experience this when returning to work, feeling that they need to work harder to prove themselves among their male counterparts, and the drive to prove they’re ‘unburdened’ by their childcare responsibilities.

Fortunately, the tech industry especially can now can very easily offer flexibility. Remote and hybrid working has been a game changer for many working mothers and gives them a chance to continue their careers as well as be there for their children. Despite this, frustratingly some companies still seem stuck on the rigid structure of the 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in the office. If businesses were open to changing work structures, this would accommodate a larger proportion of women.

Mentorship programmes are also vitally important to changing the narrative of women in the world of tech. Companies need to ensure they have a strong team of women who help to break down stereotypes and barriers that typically discourage women from a career in the tech They can inspire women to set higher career goals and pursue opportunities they might not have considered otherwise and offer real-life, practical advice based on their own experiences. Whether that’s through outreach programmes or internally, women need to see what is possible from inspiring role models who have been through the process.

 

Why is it important?

It seems ridiculous that in 2023, we still have an industry where women are severely underrepresented. I must acknowledge that this has changed a lot over the last 20 years or so and it is going in the right direction, but we can’t ever get complacent. At the moment, we aren’t tapping into and harnessing such a large proportion of potential talent, largely due to stereotypes and subliminal messaging throughout education and the workplace. Recruitment is the first hurdle, and we’re still often failing.

One of the things I have seen more times than I should have are women interviewing for a job and having strong feelings of doubt that they can’t do this. Given how disproportionately imposter syndrome affects women, my team and I have added a question at the end of our interview process for female applicants: “Do you think you can do this?” If the response is uncertain, we will spend time reviewing their CV and highlighting exactly why they would be a good fit and why their skills are important. Taking that time to reassure women that they have just as much right and capability to be in the tech arena as a man, has made a massive difference to our recruitment process and I like to think, is helping to move towards an equal opportunity in the industry. The UK has set its sight on becoming a ‘tech superpower’ but if we’re not opening our doors to women and providing the right opportunities, we simply won’t get there.

 

Aon and Vitality find gender wellbeing risks challenge DE&I progress among UK employers

  • Women more likely to feel fatigue
  • Men more likely to drink over 14 units of alcohol per week and smoke more

Analysis of new employee data from Vitality, in collaboration with Aon plc (NYSE: AON), shows key imbalances between genders at work in the UK, which, if left unchecked, can challenge employers’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) progress. The findings come from a survey of more than 8,500 employees in organisations across the UK to determine Britain’s Healthiest Workplace.

The research shows gender imbalances in employee wellbeing across all groups – men, women and those who identify as “other”. For instance, the average amount of time lost due to absence was similar for men and women (6.4 vs. 7.2 days). However, when asked to self-report on productive time lost due to presenteeism, women felt they lost more time (47 days per year vs. 39 days per year for men).

When lifestyle data was examined, 32.5 percent of men self-reported drinking over 14 units of alcohol a week compared to 19.5 percent of women. Men also reported smoking more (9.2 percent vs. 8.3 percent women). By contrast, 29.4 percent of men said they had their blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol measured in the past 12 months, compared to 20.1 percent of women. Conversely, women reported undertaking less physical exercise compared to their male colleagues (42.8 percent vs. 33.4 percent) but were more likely to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day (52.2 percent vs. 42.1 percent).

In addition, more women reported having one or more chronic health conditions compared to men (45.3 percent vs. 36.4 percent), while also having more musculoskeletal conditions – at least two types – than men (64.4 percent vs. 52.2 percent). Feeling fatigued or very tired at least once a week was self-reported more often by women than men (57.3 percent of women’s to men’s 48 percent), as was the likelihood of experiencing burnout (22 percent to men’s 18.5 percent).

In the workplace, men reported that they were less likely to share the values of their employer (76.5 percent vs. 81.9 percent for women) and felt more dissatisfied with their job than women (31 percent to women’s 28.4 percent). There was a wide variance between men (50.8 percent) and women (33.6 percent) who said that their employer provides them with volunteering opportunities and supports them financially to do so.

Britain’s Healthiest Workplace Survey also recorded responses from people who identified their gender as “other”; however, there weren’t sufficient figures to derive statistically significant conclusions.

Dr Jeanette Cook, principal strategic consultant for Health Solutions at Aon in the UK, said:

“There is a clear imbalance between genders across most metrics in this survey with the data suggesting that a lot of employers are not yet in the right place to manage the differences. Many studies have shown the benefits of having a diverse workforce – not least gains in productivity, performance, innovation and reputation. Companies cannot afford to be wrong-footed regarding gender variations in health and wellbeing needs.

“From a prospective candidate’s perspective, a future employer having a meaningful Employee Value Proposition is an essential consideration when choosing their next job. The balance for employers, then, is to ensure that DE&I and health and wellbeing programmes support retention and recruitment.”

Dr Jeanette Cook continued:

“These results show the challenges employers need to understand and overcome. For instance, we can see women self-reported losing more productive days due to presenteeism but is this due to different interpretations of presenteeism between genders? Women also experience more stress and exercise less. Men report a higher rate of alcohol consumption, but this may be a coping strategy for managing stress. What barriers might they be facing that makes this the case?

“A one-size-fits-all approach does not work with health and wellbeing. Employers need to look at their own data in context with industry insights to gain greater understanding of the issues that are present within their workforce and to build resilience. While there are some basic and common wellbeing needs, to be most effective, organisations will need to develop flexible wellbeing programmes specifically tailored to their unique business sector and workforce.”

Aon is the consulting partner to Vitality’s Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey, which is available here.

More information about how Aon helps businesses build resilient workforces is available here.

References

Vitality surveyed 8,500 employees whose companies took part in Britain’s Healthiest Workplace research from 29 March to 30 September 2022.

Presenteeism is defined as working at less-than-optimal levels, which can only be assessed by asking individuals. The challenge for researchers – as well as employers – has been how to measure presenteeism. A consensus has emerged around a range of survey tools that can generate proxies. One widely validated tool for self-reported absence and presenteeism is the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire. The WPAI has been used in a wide range of studies to measure the loss of productivity from both general health problems as well as from specific conditions. In the Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey, the general health WPAI (WPAI-GH) has been used.

Under the WPAI-GH, the determination of presenteeism is made using the following question, on the basis of a seven-day recall period:

During the past seven days, how much did health problems affect your productivity while you were working? Think about days you were limited in the amount or kind of work you could do, days you accomplished less than you would like, or days you could not do your work as carefully as usual. If health problems affected your work only a little, choose a low number. Choose a high number if health problems affected your work a great deal. 

This is a 0 to 10 scale, where 0 means health problems had no effect on your work, and 10 means that health problems completely prevented you from working. If you choose a presenteeism level of 2, for example, it means that you were fully productive for 80 percent of your working time, and that you had no productivity for 20 percent of the time.

About Aon 

Aon plc (NYSE: AON) exists to shape decisions for the better — to protect and enrich the lives of people around the world. Our colleagues provide our clients in over 120 countries and sovereignties with advice and solutions that give them the clarity and confidence to make better decisions to protect and grow their business.

Which jobs pay men and women equally?

If you were to see two employees hired for the same role, you’d expect them to receive the same pay right? Unfortunately that’s still not always the case. 

Even in the modern age we’re in, women still have to fight for their right to receive equal pay for their efforts. Many industries haven’t yet got the memo, but not all, with a variety of professions now taking it into their hands to level the playing field, as far as salaries go. 

 

Are men and women still paid unequally?

According to Eurostat, statistics show that in the EU, women’s gross hourly earnings was on average 13% lower than that of men’s, according to the latest data pulled from 2020.

Even in modern day women are having to still campaign for pay equal to their male counterparts. 

 

Which jobs have the lowest pay gap?

Luckily, not all industries are like that, and there is a selection of professions out there that are actively working to further close the gender pay gap. Some of which may surprise you. 

 

Biological scientists

Being a primarily female-led industry, 54% of biological scientists are women. According to research, female biological scientists slightly out-earn men in this profession, earning 101% of what men earn for the same job, on average. 

 

Computer network architects

Although only 8% of network architects in the industry are female, women still earn a percentage of 105% what men earn within the same profession. 

It’s clear that this talent is recognised for both genders, but could improve in terms of the ratio of women hired for these jobs. 

 

Counsellors

These include anything from behavioural, educational and career counsellors. On average, women earn 100 to 107% the salary that men earn in the same profession. 

 

Event planners

This one shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering over 80% of people working in the event planning space are in fact women. In terms of ratio, women earn 110% the salary that men earn, for the same industry.

 

Mechanical engineers

Although this is a male-led industry, with over 90% of men working in this profession, the gender pay gap isn’t very large here. Women earn on average 99% of the salary men earn in the mechanical engineering field. 

 

Special education teachers

Another industry where women are leading in, with females taking up 75% of the workforce for this profession. Female special education teachers earn on average 102% what men earn for the same job. 

 

Social workers

On average, women take up 83% of social worker roles in the US. With that, the average pay they receive is equal to that of their male counterparts. 

 

TSA workers

Transportation security is fairly equivalent in terms of males and females working in the industry, with women making up 42% of the workforce. That being said, women earn 99.4% what men earn within the same profession. 

 

Tutors

In the US, 63% of the tutor workforce is made up of women. This same group also earns 97.9% of what men earn within the same industry. 

 

Voice overs 

In the world of voice over, women make up 41% of the total workforce. Statistics show that women earn 91% what men earn within the same industry. 

This is debatable depending on whether or not they’re working through a voice over platform, which tends to operate with fixed rates, making it so men and women are in fact paid equally. 

 

How to do your bit to close the gender pay gap

If you’re a business owner with a diverse set of employees, analyse how you’re paying them. 

Is there a disproportionate salary paid to men that women don’t see within your organisation? If so, see how you can make systematic changes to level the playing field. 

In terms of how you can help bridge the gap for employees that don’t yet exist, consider doing the following: shortlisting multiple women for your next role, encouraging salary negotiation by displaying a ranged salary offer, and using skill-based tasks in the recruitment process, to name a few things. 

With the workforce becoming more and more diverse as we move forward, we should be paying any one with the right skillset equally, with salaries ranging according to expertise, not gender politics. 

Unequal pay in the workplace is unacceptable, don’t be on the bad side of history and pay your workers what they’re due, regardless of sex. 

 

Winners celebrate at the TechWomen100 Awards 2022

Vanessa Vallely OBE calls on employers to redress ‘pitifully low’ 21% representation of women in tech with female tech talent pipeline clear to see

Over 100 extraordinary and inspiring women working in tech, came together to celebrate at the 2022 TechWomen100 Awards on Tuesday December 6th at the QEII Centre in London.

The TechWomen100 Awards, powered by Barclays, focus on the achievements of up-and-coming women currently working in tech below senior management level. By shining a light on the female tech talent pipeline, the Awards seek to encourage and support the next generation of female tech role models and leaders.

Now in their fifth year, the TechWomen100 Awards recognise the impact of individuals, companies and networks that are leading the way for future generations of tech talent. They form a key part of the WeAreTechWomen’s campaign to find and support 1,000 future female leaders in technology by 2025. So far, since 2015, the TechWomen100 awards have highlighted the achievements of 450 women.

This year’s Awards attracted over 1,000 entries from which a diverse panel of 20 independent industry judges identified a shortlist of 200. The public was then asked to show its support by voting for these incredible women. A second round of judging by the panel resulted in 100 winners being chosen alongside the overall winner of the public vote to for the 2022 TechWomen100 winners.

 

“I would like to extend huge congratulations to this year’s winners of the TechWomen100 Awards,” says Vanessa Vallely OBE, managing director, WeAreTechWomen. “While the Awards event was a great celebration of the female tech talent pipeline, the fact remains women represent only 21% of the tech industry which is pitifully low.

 “This year’s winners have proved beyond doubt that women can contribute significantly to tech roles bringing creativity, leadership, vision and commitment to this exciting field. As these women pay it forward, create communities, support each other and use their platforms to encourage more women and girls into the industry, I would call upon more employers to step up to support women in tech roles so that more top talent will be attracted to and retained by the sector.”

 

The TechWomen100 Awards 2022 are powered by Barclays and sponsored by Accenture, BAE Systems, Bank of America, BT, Clifford Chance, Credit Suisse, Funding Circle, Goldman Sachs, Huawei, Ipsos Mori, Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust, Oliver Wyman, PwC and Sky. In addition, Durham University and Google are the education partners for this year’s awards, honouring the female talent pipeline in technology.

 

“At Barclays, we’re focused on improving gender diversity through a workplace environment and culture that enables our female colleagues to fulfil their career aspirations,” says Craig Bright, Group Chief Information Officer, Barclays.  “As a leader in technology, this means really investing in how we attract, retain and develop our female tech talent. Recognising and celebrating female technologists is fundamental to closing the gender gap and building a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture across the industry,” he believes. “Barclays is committed to supporting and empowering women in tech to realise their full potential. We seek to promote, support and amplify the voices of those leading positive change and inspiring others, which is why we’re proud to be the headline sponsor for the 2022 TechWomen100 Awards.”

 

TechWomen100 Awards 2022 Winners

 

Champion of the Year – Gemma Willman, Head of Workforce Enablement, Natwest Group

Gemma was chosen for her passion in driving the gender agenda for women in technology

both internally and externally.

 

Company of the Year – Finastra

Finastra was chosen for its initiatives to elevate women in technology alongside its inclusive internal policies which help women to feel supported, both in life and their careers.

 

Network of the Year – Barclays Women in Technology (WIT)

Barclays was chosen for its incredible internal initiatives to support their women in tech.

 

Global Achievement Award – Amna Habiba, founder of BloomED

Just 16 years old, Amna was chosen for her outstanding efforts to teach 1000s of girls in Pakistan how to code.

 

Three additional awards include:

The Editor’s Choice, Lifetime Achievement and the Winner of the Public Vote.

 

Editor’s Choice Award – Flavilla Fongang, Founder of 3 Colours Rule

Flavilla was selected for her outstanding contribution towards building a pipeline of women in tech while simultaneously raising the profiles of black women in the tech industry.

 

Lifetime Achievement Award – Russ Shaw CBE, Founder of Tech London Advocates & Global

Tech Advocates

Russ was recognised for his outstanding support for women in tech.

 

Public Vote Winner – Ekta Soni, Wipro

Her outstanding work attracted just over 5,000 global votes.

 

Full details of the TechWomen100 Awards 2022 can be seen here https://wearetechwomen.com/techwomen100-awards-winners-2022/

 

Martha Lane Fox on inclusivity in the tech sector, inertia in the House of Lords, and why she’s a ‘dot com dinosaur’

In WorkL’s Autumn Lecture, today Baroness Martha Lane Fox looks back on history, reflecting on the 1960’s and 70’s when women, working from home were programming the Concorde and working in deep tech, yet today there’s an astonishing absence of ‘gender balance’ in the sector.

Martha highlights the tech trailblazer, Dame Stephanie Shirley who employed women in building complex technologies and argues that today “we would be absolutely astonished if we had seen so many women engaged in those areas of technology, they are not associated right now, those deep tech areas of technology, with such a gender balance.”

In the lecture, Martha questions why, today, we are not using the insights and learning from the 1960’s and 70’s, to build a more inclusive and sustainable technology space for the future?

Having studied Ancient and Modern History at University, Martha looks back to the past to learn how to create a fairer and more inclusive future for the technology sector and our digital spaces.  Beginning the lecture, outlining how she was called a ‘dot com dinosaur’ in the street, Martha accepts her “whole career has been underpinned by technology right from the beginning”.

Martha co-founded Lastminute.com and doteveryone, a think tank championing responsible tech for a fairer future.  Martha argues the Covid-19 pandemic shifted our relationship with technology but highlights not everyone was able to move seamlessly to technology during lockdowns.  Her “metropolitan bubble”, helped her “carry on as normal” when the world was locked down yet “only 50% of jobs could be done online, and a huge percentage of the people that weren’t able to work online.”

Martha goes on to stress that there is still a “huge job to do to include everybody in these enormous changes that have dominated so much of the working landscape over the last three years, but before that as well”.  Incredibly Martha cites that “half the world is still not using the internet, can you imagine what that felt like during this pandemic?”

Reflecting on her experience at the House of Lords during the pandemic Martha writes:

“If you had said to me that before the pandemic, we would be online doing committee meetings, we’d be voting and talking in the chamber, within 3 weeks of everything shutting down I would honestly have thought you were smoking an enormous spliff. But actually, that’s exactly what happened.  Parliament was able to digitise itself incredibly quickly and push through some of the inertia that perhaps had hit the organisation previously.”

WorkL’s Employee Experience report, published today, highlights the technology sector as being one of the happiest.  Since 2018 its score has risen from 73% to 87% in 2020.  Pre-pandemic to Lockdown-1m  scores jumped 7% (from 73% to 90% – a score no other industry has ever hit).

The industry has made progress in terms of women’s experience in the industry.  In 2018 WorkL data showed male employees felt more empowered and trusted in their jobs than women (60% in men vs 54% in women). In 2022, this gap stabilises as both men and women score 74%.  Women today feel more empowered in the technology industry.

Looking ahead to the future of the tech sector Martha emphasises the need to question where we get skills from and how we can help people from all kinds of communities to be part of that future that we are building.

For more information on the lecture and WorkL’s Employee Experience report, go to workl.co