Women in Technology – A long way to equality

Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a concept popped up in the 50s, when “women’s work wasn’t work” and “women’s intelligence wasn’t intelligence”. As Jill Lepore explained in her book “If/Then”, AI was created to be similar to the intelligence of men, excluding women, which still has consequences today.

When I interviewed her for the book “50 Women in Technology”, Dr. Rumman Chowdhury explained the decisions made 70 years ago still have a great impact today. “I try to put it in scenarios that people understand today. What if you’re denied a loan because you’re a woman? You don’t know that, but it’s because, historically, women were not even allowed to have credit. Let alone have loans. Their husbands or fathers had to sign for them. So, the data around women is quite biased. It’s even worse for people of colour,’ explained the expert in responsible AI.

Despite modern times having brought a change in terms of women’s access to technology and work opportunities in the field, statistics show there are still plenty of challenges.

A study published by the Fawcett Society in October 2023 shows that one in five men working in technology believes women “less suited to working in the sector” and that 43% of women working in technology think about leaving their role at least once a week.

Other conclusions show that one in three black women have been in a situation in which they have been assumed by colleagues to not hold a technical role and three out of four have experienced racism or other kind of discrimination at work. That was the case for Clarice P. . After her studies in the Navy she worked for a scientific instrument company outside of Chicago and, later, she went on to work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Despite her successful journey, there were challenges. “I know I wasn’t the first woman to work in that building, nor the first Black woman, but I think I was the first Black woman there who was a science-adjacent person. When I first arrived, many thought I was the new janitor”, Clarice Phelps explained to me when we talked. “There were a lot of misconceptions about what I was there when I first arrived. I wondered why people were assuming I was not a part of the scientific community. And I observed that when the interns would come for the summer, they wouldn’t be asked if they were janitors. The obviousness of it was a little discouraging”, continued the first Black woman to contribute to discover of a new element for the periodic table – element 117, Tennessine.

Even in what should have been a clear high point in Clarice Phelps’ career, there was a feeling of exclusion. “There was a celebration luncheon and my supervisor asked me if I was going and I didn’t know it was happening”. On the day, “there was a lady at the door making sure your name was on the list, so, I told her my name, and she said she didn’t have it there. I was eventually able to get in. (…) As I walked to see where my seat was, I didn’t see my name anywhere. There was also a big screen that included the names of everyone who had contributed to the element 117 discovery at ORNL, and I didn’t see my name up there either!”. After a few years, telling me this, Clarice Phelps chuckled. At the time, though, she was “really upset” and it was also “embarrassing”.

Clarice Phelps’ case is far from an exception. The same numbers compiled by the Fawcett Society show that 72% of women in tech roles have experienced at least one form of sexism at work. This includes being paid less than male colleagues and sexist ‘banter’ (22%) and questioning of their skills and abilities (20%).

Prejudice and undervalued skills

Researching about this topic for 50 Women in Technology I came across a lot of situations such as these, not only among the pioneers from 100 years ago whose work was only truly appreciated much later or that even though it was evident, was never recognized (as is the case of Lise Meitner, nominated for 49 Nobel prizes without ever receiving one).

Nowadays, it’s worth looking at people such as Gretchen Andrew. When she graduated, she got what could only be considered a dream job – a position at Google, in Silicon Valley. Still, she wasn’t happy and eventually quit. Since then, she has used technology to create art. At 35, she is known for her bold projects using AI and a lot of creativity. Being a young woman, when I interviewed her, she explained a lot of the challenges she had to face before being taken seriously.

“I was trying again so hard to be taken seriously and, once again, losing this game because there’s too much of a disconnect between what people expect of someone who looks like me and the technical power of the work I was making. My surname is Andrew, so people kept asking who was this Andrew that I collaborated with and if he was the one who did the technology side of my work”.

The list of examples goes on. Emily Holmes, Psychology professor in the University of Uppsala in Sweden, Neuroscientist and Psychologist talked about the first conference she ever participated in. “At the first conference I did somebody asked me whose girlfriend I was and I had to say ‘no, I’m presenting”.

Erica Kang, founder and CEO of “KryptoSeoul”, pointed to another challenge – harassment. “I like to dress up. I like to style myself, but when I do that, and I go to a gathering they look at me like a model you can play with. I got a lot of that kind of sexual harassment from day one”.

Katalin Karikó who was awarded the Nobel prize in Medicine or Physiology in 2023 was let go by the University of Pennsylvania for not getting funding for her research. That same research allowed for the development of vaccines again COVID-19.

Another field in which women are still a minority, both as workers and consumers, is the videogame industry. Sheri Graner Ray, CEO and founder of Zombie Cat Studios spoke about her experience as the only person who asked the question “what if the player is a woman?”

“I naturally asked people ‘What if it’s a girl playing this?’ I thought that way. I asked ‘Why isn’t there a girl character for me to choose from?’ At first, they laughed. Then, they got annoyed at me. After that, they started having design meetings and not telling me where they were”.

The future

Having interviewed 27 women who work in different fields of technology there’s a clear trend: although it’s no longer as difficult to gain access to the field compared to 50 years ago, progressing in the career or getting funding is still harder for women than for men. Perseverance, patience, and resilience are words often spoken.

These difficulties can help explain what was written by The Guardian about a week ago. A study by “Teach First” shows that 51% or parents from a lower socioeconomic background said they believed their children were unlikely to go on to a career in STEM.

When asked about the obstacles their children might face, parents referred to a lack of confidence, few role models in the STEM field and a general feeling that their children “don’t see it as subject for somebody like them”.

Dr. Anna Lukasson-Herzig, an engineer with a PhD in Process Automation, whom I also interviewed, spoke about how the lack of confidence girls might feel starts in childhood. “It’s essential do dispel the stereotypes and biases that persist in educational settings. Often, girls are told that they can’t excel in tech or mathematics. The way mathematics is taught in schools tends to be male-oriented, with predominantly male tech teachers, inadvertently discouraging girls. It’s crucial to encourage young females to recognize that their abilities are not the issue; rather, it’s the way these subjects are presented to them that needs to change. The tech itself is not the barrier”.

Interested in purchasing 50 Women in Technology: https://www.aurorametro.com/product/50-women-in-technology-book/

This article was written by Ines Almeida of Aurora Metro:

Inês Almeida has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Coimbra (Portugal) and during her degree she worked at a local radio station, interviewing people from several fields, including technology. After graduating, she moved to Macau SAR (China) where she worked as a reporter at first and progressed to become editor for a local newspaper. During the six years she worked in Macau, she covered events such as an annual “Start-up Weekend” for women in technology and the launch of two new State Laboratories (one for the “Internet of Things and Smart Cities” and another for “Sciences of the Moon and Planet”).  She also had the opportunity to visit the headquarters of tech giants such as Tencent and DJI in Shenzhen (China) and to interview some of the companies’ executives. In September of 2021, after working in China, she moved to London to pursue a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Roehampton which she completed, with merit, in 2023. She currently works for Aurora Metro and Supernova Books.

2024 Elevate – Women in Tech Leadership Mentor Programme

We are excited to announce the launch of the 2024 Elevate – Women in Tech Leadership Mentor Programme! This initiative aims to support 100 talented women ready to take their careers to the next level.

This is a 6-month mentorship opportunity starting in 2024. So if you’re an aspiring tech leader eager to move into management or a seasoned tech specialist seeking new challenges, this programme can help you get there.

To be eligible, you must have at least two years of professional experience and be committed to developing your tech career in 2024.

Ready to elevate? Here’s how to get started:


I am looking for a Mentor: Click Here

I’m interested in becoming a mentor: Click Here


Please also feel free to share our Elevate – Women in Tech group on LinkedIn and our Podcast series!

8 Strategies to Enhance Gender Inclusivity in Job Adverts

In the ever-evolving landscape of the tech industry, fostering diversity has become not just a goal but a necessity. Companies that value innovation and aim to meet the diverse needs of their customers understand the pivotal role that a diverse workforce plays. However, in their quest to attract a more inclusive talent pool, many organizations inadvertently alienate underrepresented groups through outdated and biased job descriptions.

At Halzak, we specialize in guiding start-ups and tech companies toward redefining their processes and connecting with highly skilled technical talent from all backgrounds. We believe that crafting gender-inclusive job ads need not be a cryptic endeavor. In this article, we present 8 tips to revamp your job listings, making them more engaging, informative, and above all, inclusive.

This is more than just ticking diversity checkboxes; they are about creating an environment where every individual feels valued, welcomed, and empowered to thrive. In an era where diversity is not just an aspiration but a necessity, these tips are your roadmap to building a tech workforce that mirrors the vibrant society we live in today.

8 Strategies to Enhance Gender Inclusivity in Your Tech Job Ads

  1. Commit to Diversity: Highlight Your Diversity & Inclusion Efforts

If your company is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion ensure that this is clearly communicated on your careers page/job adverts.

Express your dedication to building diverse and inclusive teams and emphasise that you’re an Equal Opportunities Employer. Back up your claims with staff diversity statistics to demonstrate your commitment.

2. Career Pathways Clarity: Share Information About Progression Paths.

Transparency regarding career progression pathways is crucial. Share a clear career journey within your company to help candidates envision their future with you. Real-life case studies featuring a diverse range of employees can make this vision more tangible.

3. Mind Your Language: Use Inclusive Language

The language you use in your job ads sends a powerful message to potential applicants. Avoid gender-specific pronouns like “he” or “she”; opt for inclusive pronouns like “they” or “ideal applicant.” Replace terms like “businessman” or “saleswoman” with “business person” or “salesperson.” Words like “ninja” or “wizard” can be off-putting, so steer clear of them. Consider using a Gender Coder tool to identify subtle biases in your job ads.

4. Reconsider “Must Haves”: Rethink Job Requirements

Move away from the traditional checklist approach when crafting job descriptions. Work closely with hiring managers to identify the three to four key requirements essential for the role.

A Hewlett Packard Study found that men apply for jobs when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, while women tend to apply only if they meet 100%.

Hence, focus on including only the truly essential skills. Be open to considering candidates with non-traditional backgrounds, such as bootcamp graduates, rather than exclusively requiring a Computer Science degree.

5. Salary Transparency: Be Transparent About Compensation

Transparency about salary in job ads sends a strong message that you value candidates based on their skills and experience. Moreover, in some regions, such as eight U.S. states and the UK, pay transparency is legally required to combat pay inequities. By disclosing the salary upfront, you eliminate uncertainty for candidates and set clear expectations.

6. Highlight Your Benefits: List Comprehensive Benefits

Beyond salary, your benefits package plays a crucial role in attracting diverse talent, especially women in tech. Highlight benefits that resonate with underrepresented groups, such as holidays, paid leave, fertility & family-friendly policies, maternity leave, childcare assistance, and flexible or remote work arrangements. Showcase your company’s commitment to well-being with mental health support, fitness initiatives, and employee resource groups.

7. Outline the Process: Provide Clear Expectations

Give candidates an overview of what to expect during the interview process. A well-defined process ensures consistent treatment of all candidates, sets clear expectations, and aligns everyone internally on their roles in the process.

8. Broaden Your Outreach: Cast a Wide Net

To reach diverse talent pools, partner with diversity-focused tech organisations and job boards that cater to your target audience, including women, non-binary individuals, and people of color in tech. Your job ads serve as the initial point of contact with potential candidates, so diversify your approach to attract a broader talent pool.

In an era where diversity isn’t just a buzzword but a driving force behind innovation, these strategies are your blueprint for success. They’re a testament to your company’s dedication to leveling the playing field and embracing the richness of diversity.

But this is just the beginning of the journey. To truly make a difference, we urge you to take action today. Review your current recruitment practices and embark on the path to change. If hiring women in tech aligns with your organizational goals, consider connecting with us to explore advertising on our Elevate – Women in Tech job board. It’s a platform dedicated to providing direct access to women in tech at every career stage, from entry-level positions to boardroom roles.

If you would like to connect with one of the team today to discuss how we could support you further feel free to connect with our Founders Kellie or Michael

8 reasons why women leave tech jobs and careers

Tech Talent Charter in partnership with Attest recently shared their Attrition in Tech – Why women leave tech jobs and careers report. This report sheds light on why women are leaving tech jobs at higher rates than men. Though concerning, the report provides an opportunity for companies to review their values and talent strategies.

The report highlighted 8 key findings:

  1. One in three women are planning to leave their tech job.
  2. One in four women who left a tech job in the last few years left for a non-tech job.
  3. Only one in six women who have been in their tech role for more than a year are planning to stay.
  4. Four out of five women said that dissatisfaction with their career development impacted their decision to leave their tech role.
  5. Work-life balance was ranked the most important factor in women’s decisions to leave their tech role, often linked to challenges managing caring commitments.
  6. Women in tech with flexible work arrangements had significantly higher retention.
  7. Nearly 40% of women agreed that caring commitments influenced their decision to leave their tech job, but only 11.4% of them actually left the workforce to do this.
  8. Pay dissatisfaction is one of the top factors motivating women to move jobs, and was often linked to the cost of living crisis and childcare high costs.

The report sends a clear message to tech companies – a call to action must be taken to evaluate and create inclusive cultures where women can thrive.

Partnerships with specialized recruitment firms like Halzak, who share these goals, can aid recruitment and retention efforts. Their mission to connect companies with diverse tech talent makes them well-positioned to help build the welcoming environments women and underrepresented talent need to thrive.

Interested in learning more about Halzak reach out to the founding team directly to discuss how we can support or introduce you to our Elevate – Women in Tech Community

Michael Kwarteng – Founder of Halzak & Elevate – Women in Tech Community

Kellie Kwarteng – Founder of Halzak & Elevate – Women in Tech Community / Podcast Host

Halzak is proud to support Tech Talent Charter as one of their 827 company signatories who are committed to driving greater diversity and inclusion in tech

Demystifying Software Engineering: A Guide for Women in Tech

Software engineering remains a male-dominated field, but the need for engineers continues to grow as technology evolves. For women considering this career, here’s what you need to know.

What is software engineering?

In short, it’s using engineering principles to design, develop, and maintain software products and applications. This involves everything from requirements gathering to programming to testing and deployment.

Software engineers use specialized skills like coding and problem-solving to bring software projects to life. They collaborate cross-functionally and iterate based on user feedback.

Types of software engineering roles

There are various career paths under the software engineering umbrella. Common roles include:

Frontend engineers – Focus on user-facing design, UI, and UX. Know HTML, CSS, JavaScript.

Backend engineers – Work on server-side application logic and integration. Know languages like Java, Python.

Full-stack engineers – Handle both frontend and backend systems and components.

Security engineers – Apply security principles to build resilient systems and prevent cyberthreats.

DevOps engineers – Bridge the gap between dev and IT teams to optimize and automate deployments.

Each role leverages unique technical skills while providing opportunities to deliver impact.

Bright Future Ahead: Software Engineering Job Outlook for Women

If you’re considering software engineering, the job opportunities are expansive. Software engineering roles are expected to grow rapidly over the next decade.

Driven by rapid technology innovation and rising demand for software, engineering roles are expected to see massive growth worldwide in the coming years. In the US alone, software engineering hiring is projected to increase 26% over the next decade.

Tech hubs in countries like the US, Canada, UK, Germany, and Israel have substantial openings today. And location matters less for those open to remote work.

Hot fields like fintech, e-commerce, healthcare, and emerging technologies all need software engineering talent to keep advancing. And emerging technologies like AI and machine learning are creating new high-paying roles.

With the massive demand, women have incredible potential to shape the future of software. Diverse perspectives lead to better products that meet the needs of all users.

Why women belong in software engineering

The industry needs diversity of thought. Women provide invaluable perspective into how end users interact with software.

Female engineers are proven to excel at collaboration, critical thinking, communication, emotional intelligence, creativity, and problem-solving. All strengths are needed to develop great software.

Discrimination Still an Obstacle

While progress is being made, women in software engineering still face discrimination. In one survey, 34% of women said discrimination and gender bias are top barriers today. Pay inequality also persists, with female engineers making 89 cents to a man’s dollar in the same role. There is still work needed to improve corporate cultures and promote equality.

How to get started

  1. Try out programming through free online courses to see if you enjoy it. Many women come to coding later in life. It’s never too late to start!
  2. Consider a coding bootcamp. This skills-focused training can equip you with fundamentals in months rather than years.
  3. Pursue formal education. Relevant degree choices include computer science, software engineering, information systems, or computer engineering.
  4. Get experience through open-source projects, internships, or freelancing. Build up work samples and connections.
  5. Attend hackathons and workshops. These allow you to network, learn new skills, and work on projects.
  6. Don’t be intimidated to apply for roles you want, even if you don’t meet every requirement. Transferable skills from other fields have value.
  7. Find mentors who can advise you and amplify your voice. Having advocates provides confidence.

Dealing with Failure and Rejection

When learning to code or pursuing software engineering roles, expect failures and rejections. The key is building resilience to keep persevering through setbacks. Reflect on what you can learn from each experience. And remember – you are capable!

Opportunities for Work-Life Balance

Many software engineering positions offer schedule flexibility and remote work options suitable for moms. On-site childcare and extended parental leave policies are becoming more common as well. Though balancing family and career is still a challenge, the field offers many possibilities to make it work.

Career Growth Tips for Women

There are many paths to advancing as a female software engineer. You have to be your own advocate!

Resources to Connect with Women in Tech

Surround yourself with a community! Conferences, networks, and groups like these provide the encouragement, role models, and connections all women in tech need.

The software engineering field needs women. Bring your talent, drive, and unique viewpoint – the future needs you!

HALZAK

Halzak we are dedicated to building diverse and inclusive teams across the global Tech community and bridging the gender gap.

If you are a Women in Tech looking for support in a career move then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss this further

If you are an organisation looking to impact diversity within your team we are here to support you. From reviews of current hiring efforts to managing your hiring process contact us today to discuss further.

Empowering Women in Tech: What’s your superpower?

In a world dominated by technology, women are making their mark in the field of tech like never before. The journey hasn’t been easy, but today’s women in tech are breaking barriers, shattering stereotypes, and leaving their mark on the industry. One of the most powerful assets women possess is their uniqueness.

Having spoken with many women in tech a topic many have shared is that in their early career what made them unique was often seen or felt like their biggest weakness. However, over time and upon reflection what these women have learnt to realise was that their true superpower was what made them unique and how understanding this can help propel you to great heights in the tech world.

In a field where diversity and inclusion have become buzzwords, women in tech have the opportunity to bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table. By leveraging your unique experiences, backgrounds, and viewpoints, you can contribute to a more inclusive and equitable tech landscape. Women’s diverse voices can challenge the status quo, identify new problems, and create groundbreaking solutions.

Break the mould

It’s essential to remember that you don’t have to conform to preconceived notions of what a “typical” tech professional should look or be like. Embrace your individuality, whether it’s your unconventional career path or your distinctive communication style. Each of these characteristics adds value and can set you apart from the crowd. By embracing your uniqueness, you become a role model for others who might not fit the stereotypical mould either.

Unique perspectives and experiences

Women’s unique perspectives can also fuel innovation. The best solutions often arise from a blend of different ideas and perspectives. By bringing your distinct experiences to the table, you can contribute to creating more inclusive products, services, and user experiences. Your ideas have the power to shape the future of technology and make it more accessible and beneficial for everyone.

Be an inspiration for others to follow

Moreover, your uniqueness can be a source of inspiration and motivation for other women in tech. By sharing your journey and highlighting your accomplishments, you can inspire others to embrace their individuality and strive for greatness. When women see someone who looks like them, who has faced similar challenges, and yet has succeeded, it ignites a spark of hope and determination within them. Your uniqueness can pave the way for others to follow and create a more diverse and vibrant tech community.

Surround yourself with a supportive community

While celebrating your uniqueness, it’s crucial to seek out and build a network of like-minded individuals. Connect with other women in tech, join professional communities and organizations, attend conferences and workshops, and seek mentorship opportunities. Surrounding yourself with a supportive community can provide you with invaluable guidance, encouragement, and a platform to share and learn from each other’s unique journeys.

Wear your uniqueness as your armour

However, it’s important to acknowledge that despite the progress made, challenges still exist for women in tech. Gender bias, unconscious biases, and imposter syndrome can be daunting obstacles to overcome. But remember that your uniqueness is your armour against these challenges. Embrace your strengths, acknowledge your achievements, and stay resilient in the face of adversity. You belong in tech, and you have the power to create meaningful change.

In summary, the power of your uniqueness as a woman in tech cannot be understated. Embrace your individuality, celebrate your diverse perspectives, and use them as a catalyst for innovation and positive change. By being true to yourself, you inspire others, break down barriers, and create a more inclusive tech industry for all. Your uniqueness is your superpower—harness it and unleash your full potential in the world of technology.

Halzak has created the Elevate – Women in Tech podcast series which is aimed at elevating women and girls from the classroom to the boardroom. Through a series of conversations with women across the tech sector who share their career journeys, goals, lessons learnt and how understanding their uniqueness was their true superpower. Check it out now on Spotify and Apple.

Why hire a Fractional Talent Partner?

As a leader of a growing business one of the most important focuses as the business grows is hiring and ensure that you hire the right people. During in this time, you may have limited resources, time constraints and a need to hire specialized talent all of which can make the hiring process overwhelming.

One way to accomplish your goals is by hiring a Fractional Talent Partner (FTP). An FTP is an experienced recruiter with a strong network of talent who can help support your organization with a variety of hiring needs and challenges. In this article, we will look at some of the benefits an FTP could bring to your organization:

Why hire a Fractional Talent Partner?

You Need a Talent Strategy:

Many organizations do not have a formalized talent strategy or plan. Working with an experienced FTP can help you to develop and execute this plan. Outlining your goals and hiring processes that are required to support your growing business or team.

Access to specialized Talent

Working with an FTP will bring instant access to not only industry knowledge but also access to specialized talent. If hiring specialist tech or diverse talent is a focus whilst expanding the team and creating your talent strategy, then engaging with an FTP is something worth considering. With roughly only 32% of the tech industry actively searching for new opportunities an FTP can help you avoid time-consuming and costly trial-and-error processes.

Enhancing your Employer Brand and Candidate’s Experience

The hiring process and experience play a crucial role in shaping your company’s brand and reputation. Many companies can struggle to provide a seamless and positive candidate experience due to limited internal resources and time. Working with an FTP can drastically elevate your candidate’s experience by managing the full recruitment process professionally and efficiently. From the initial contract to onboarding your FTP can ensure that candidates are engaged, informed, and treated with respect, enhancing your company’s reputation as an employer of choice.

Prioritize your core business functions:

As your business starts to grow so will your need for hiring and expansion of the team. When Founders or Leaders dedicate time to the search for talent this can become a significant distraction from the core business focus. An FTP will enable you to free up this valuable time and resources to focus on strategic initiatives, product development, and customer acquisition. Allowing you and the team to focus on the business whilst leaving the hiring process to your Talent Partner

You need scalability and flexibility:

Having a full-time Talent team can be expensive and not always necessary as your staffing needs fluctuate depending on where in your growth cycle.  Working with an FTP enables you the flexibility to scale up your workforce when needed quickly without the cost burden and ramp-up time hiring an internal team would bring whilst ensuring that you have the right talent at the right time.

If hiring the right talent is critical for the success of your organization a Fractional Talent Partner is worth considering. At Halzak we offer a variety of Fractional Talent Partner services that can be customized to your organization’s needs. Contact us today to see how we can help create your talent strategy and help hire the right people the first time.

Breaking the Cycle: Why are women in tech quitting?

The tech industry has been plagued by a persistent issue of gender imbalance. From both an attraction focus but also an equally concerning retention problem. Women in tech leave their tech careers at a higher rate than men. More than 50% of women are likely to quit their tech career before the age of 35, and 56% are likely to quit mid-career. To break the cycle, it is essential to understand the underlying factors driving high turnover rates and work on developing strategies to address them.

Here are some common factors identified through research and interviews with Women in Tech:

Lack of Opportunity

Women in tech often feel that they are not given the same opportunities for growth and advancement as their male counterparts. 22% of women listed a lack of advancement opportunities as a reason for leaving their company. Women typically don’t ask for promotion or advancement and instead rely on their work and performance. According to Mckinsey, only 86 women are promoted to manager for every 100 men.

The missing components many companies fail to make is to ensure that women and other underrepresented groups have exposure to key projects, mentorship, and visibility of company opportunities which they may overlook if needed to apply for themselves.

Pay inequality

Women in tech are often paid less than their male counterparts, even when they have similar qualifications, experience, and job roles. With women earning 87% of the average men’s salary in tech it’s no wonder why women are choosing to leave the industry.

Ways companies can look at tackling this issue head-on is to start by conducting pay reviews for all workers and ensure they match with levels of experience and responsibility. If you find differences, make the changes to align them. Actively share your company’s strategy regarding this and share your progress on your careers page.

Company culture

With only 26.7% of the tech workforce being women, it’s no surprise that many companies can struggle with male-dominated cultures. Many Women in Tech have shared they have faced discrimination, harassment, or microaggressions in the workplace which can lead to increased burnout and quitting.

72% of women in tech jobs say they have experienced “Bro Culture” in the workplace focusing on work culture is essential. Therefore, making DEI initiatives more than a box tick and part of a corporate goal that is transparent and measurable is a great starting point.

Having diversity, equality, and inclusivity (DEI) training as a key part of all employees’ training and development and focus will help to create workforces where everyone feels safe, respected and provides perspective to help companies try and avoid toxic work environments.

Flexibility is key

Creating a working environment that promotes flexibility and employee empowerment is key to attracting and keeping talented women in tech. In a recent Women in Tech survey, it was found that 63% of women place flexible working in their top 3 benefits which would attract them to a job.

Flexible and remote working for women can help for many reasons. Such as women with children being able to drop/pick up from school is easier when flexibility is a given. Another great example is for women going through menstruation or menopause it’s likely if you suffer badly at these times having flexible hours or work from home setups will be a huge support. Without this flexibility for some women this can lead to burnout or potential exit from the tech world.

Lack of female role models and mentors

When women are supported by mentors and can network in their communities and see role models like them succeeding in the tech world, they are less likely to quit.

Looking internally and ensuring that women have workplace support, promoting female role models, networking opportunities, mentors, and ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) is a great starting point to consider.

It’s important that companies in the tech industry look to address these issues to help tackle the roots of gender inequality, help close the gender pay gap, improve the retention of Women in Tech, and create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. By creating this type of culture companies will create environments where women can thrive in their careers.

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

If you are looking to build a diverse talent pipeline within your technology or software engineering teams and need help. Why not arrange an initial discovery call to see how Halzak could help? Contact us today

If you are a candidate looking for your next opportunity we would love to hear from you as well to share our current opportunities we are working across the tech sector in the US, Canada, and UK. Contact us today

6 steps to removing bias from the hiring process.

We are all aware that diverse companies are better decision-makers, more effective collaborators, have higher financial returns, and are better at capturing and retaining talent. Studies by McKinsey show that culturally diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform the competition, while gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to do so.

However, companies should strive to ensure that they are removing bias in their hiring process as a key priority if they are genuinely focused on impacting hiring diverse talent. Companies struggle to find a balance when it comes to hiring diverse talent, especially across the tech sector.

Women in Tech key facts:

What does unconscious bias mean in the recruitment process?

In the hiring process, unconscious bias happens when you form an opinion about a candidate based solely on first impressions. Or, when you prefer one candidate over another simply because one seems like someone you’d easily hang out with outside of work.

Hiring decisions can and often are influenced by an unconscious bias and it’s not something companies can eradicate overnight or by policy enforcement. These biases can be hard to recognise but simple steps can help to reduce this.

This article will provide six effective ways to reduce and hopefully support your company to remove bias from the hiring process.

  1. Define what Diversity means and set goals

Set business goals so that everyone knows that removing unconscious bias and building diverse and inclusive teams are key within your organisation to its bottom line. Then, define what diversity means in your company and set metrics to achieve at each step in your candidate pipeline: applicant funnels, interview conversion rates, and acceptances.

2. Educate

According to Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, educating your employees with training on unconscious bias is the first critical step. As unconscious biases are built usually on attitudes or beliefs regular training will help your team to identify and mitigate potential signs of unconscious bias.

3. Using Blind resumes

A simple yet effective way to review candidate profiles. Blind resumes can help prevent your hiring team from making unconscious biases based on personal information. A blind resume does not contain any personal information such as the candidate’s name, gender, ethnicity, and age. This can be easily implemented by asking your recruiting partner to remove personal information or by using resume screening software that will remove this for you.

4. Creating a structured interview processes

Unstructured interviews can lead to bias as different questions may be asked to different candidates or decisions based on personal preferences can be made, making it more likely that unconscious bias will creep in. Having a structured and defined interview process that tests all applicants, in the same way, ensures they’re all assessed against the same markers. The simplest way to achieve this is to create a set of questions which all candidates will be assessed against.

5. Use skill-based assessments

Skills-based assessments will evaluate candidates based purely on their skills and abilities rather than personal characteristics which can be great for technical positions.  By using skills assessments decisions can be objectively made based on ability and avoid making a decision based on a personal characteristics.

6. Monitor and review results

Having spent time defining and setting diversity goals it’s essential that you regularly monitor these results. By regular monitoring, you can identify patterns or areas that may suggest bias and take steps to address them.

If you are struggling to implement these strategies, Halzak can help. As a recruitment partner focused on helping companies hire diverse tech talent, we have the expertise to help you remove bias from the hiring process and create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.  Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your DE&I goals.

Women In Tech – Partner Announcement

Halzak is proud to announce that they will be a Partner at this year’s Women in Tech Global Conference 2023.

WomenTech Network is one of the world’s largest communities for women in tech with more than 70,000 members representing 172 countries.

The event runs from May 9th – 12th as a virtual and hybrid in-person events

May 9th – Chief in Tech Summit
May 10th – Key Tech Summit
May 11th – Career Growth Summit
May 12th – Global Impact Summit

The Global Conference will feature tech professionals, industry innovators, and +700 speakers from all over the world. Some of the speakers are the most accomplished women in tech, including technologists and leaders from companies like Amazon, Disney, Meta, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and many more.

Learn more about this conference

Who is Halzak?

Halzak supports global tech companies to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. As an ethical recruitment partner we do things differently, our processes are led by inclusive and fair selection practices enabling us to bring the right talent to your business.

If you are attending the conference and would like to connect about our services please contact us direct Kellie or Michael

CONNECTING PEOPLE WHO MODERNISE THE BUSINESS WORLD