6 reasons why you’re not attracting female tech talent

There’s no question that the tech sector is facing some uncertain times, however, the war for talent is still very much a focus for many VPs of Engineering and CTOs that we speak with, even more so when they are focused on trying to attract and retain a diverse tech workforce. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. As we head into 2023, we would have hoped that gender diversity within the tech space should be beginning to even out. However, the unfortunate reality is there is still a long way to go as only 25-30% of Software Developers are women.

While there is no quick fix to evening the playing field there are some areas of focus employers, tech start-up founders and leadership should consider who are keen to attract or retain female talent. Now is the time to be the change we want to see.

Here are six areas of focus to consider:

1. Focus on your hiring strategy

If hiring female or diverse talent is a priority, then ensure this information is known and shared. This should include a diversity policy or statement that outlines your strategy and targets to impact female hires (or diversity) within your organisation.

Ensure your hiring process is not excluding female (or diverse talent) talent and be proactive to actively target diverse candidates. This can include a number of strategies from blind CV reviews and feedback, using gender-neutral language job adverts (Gender Decoder tool), and reviewing job descriptions for bias. Where possible ensure diverse talent are part of your selection process and when hiring look for “culture Add” vs culture fit. Also working with a recruitment partner focused on diversity and fair selection policies who align with your company goals and values should be part of your criteria prior to engagement.

2. Creating an inclusive culture

In an industry dominated by males having awareness and focus on inclusion is essential if you are looking to attract women (or minority groups). Allowing women to feel as if they belong should be a focus. Inclusivity means being accepting of all backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, and cultures and ensuring platforms for voices to be heard.

3. Pay and benefits review

Gender pay gaps are still a reality within most sectors however it’s ever more prevalent in the tech sector. A starting point would be to review pay for all workers and ensure they match with levels of experience and responsibility, if you find differences make changes to align them.

Review of your benefits if your benefits and perks are geared towards a certain demographic, you’re not going to be appealing to diverse candidates. To appeal to a more diverse crowd, you need to offer a variety of benefits and perks that are relevant to them. This might include things like flexible work arrangements, family-friendly policies

4. Role models are needed and promoted

Do you already have examples of successful females (or diverse talent) within your team/organisation? Ensure their stories are known and shared internally and on your companies’ careers / social media pages. Publish interviews and success stories of your female talent. Encourage mentor / internal sponsor programs aimed at elevating your female (diverse talent) this will help build confidence, and support workforce collaboration and engagement.

5. Commitment to earlier engagement

The best way to attract female or diverse tech talent is to reach out to them and engage early in their academic journey. Working with organisations within this space (Girls who code, ChickTech, WIT) to encourage others into the industry at an earlier age or partnering with local colleges or universities.

6. Focus on retention

Once you’ve hired a diverse team (or any team), you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep them. This includes creating a positive work environment, dialing in on well-being, supporting career growth, and welcoming feedback a great example of this is introductions of eNPS surveys or ‘Stay’ interviews.

At Halzak we work with start-up tech founders and leadership teams to support them with hiring strategies to help create diverse and inclusive work environments and teams.

If you would like a copy of our free DEI Business Audit Toolkit or support with headcount plans for 2023 let’s connect.

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