Fighting the Global War for Tech Talent

In the tech industry, men hold almost 70% of all jobs and more than 80% of engineering positions at major technology companies.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. hired its first female CEO -- paying her less than her predecessor.

The Anita Borg Institute to Recruit Technical Women released staggering stats showing that: 

  • Young women are less likely to be encouraged to pursue technical careers than their male peers;

  • Women in technical fields face isolation, lack of access to influential social networks, mentors, lack of sponsorship, and a lack of role models. Ongoing work-family pressures affect technical women’s retention and advancement. Unwelcoming organizational cultures hurt the recruitment and retention of technical women.

  • Persistent unconscious biases keep women’s representation in technology low.

Ironically, there is a growing awareness of the benefits that gender diversity provides for innovation. The recruitment, retention and the advancement of women in engineering roles has subsequently become an increasingly complex task, in an attempt to instill change at the unknowingly deep level of social perception and acceptance.

What has been referred to as the “global war for tech talent” is a result of the increased demand for innovative solutions to respond to immense competition since the financial crisis in 2008. In a way, it’s a really straightforward concept, in order to respond to competition, firms need to find a competitive edge, and there is no other industry that is advancing firm’s ability to compete in today’s marketplace quite like technology. Since the economic downturn, firms’ budgets for innovation increase, and this is typically reinvested into technology and solutions to increase data collection, to make transactions faster, to make the customer’s interface as appealing and user-friendly as can be, machine learning, visualise things in another way, finding more innovative solutions to real-world problems like printing organs, autonomous driving, - solutions to better organise our world, which is arguably found at the heart of technology.

Lets not forget, that in order to better organised and structure our world, we need a labor force to do so. Recruitment within firms has never been this fierce, as the competition for the smartest engineers in the world is described as looking for ‘unicorns’:  The spending budget for recruitment has increased tenfold in the last 20 years as all firms (small firms alike) are investing heavily in recruitment (both internal and external) to compete with the sophisticated methods of larger organisations where the spending on resources is incomparable.


recruitmentNicole Pretorius