How to foster a culture of inclusivity for women in tech

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Despite efforts to address gender diversity in tech, systemic biases persist, hindering the industry from tapping into the full potential of women. Jenny Briant, Academy Operations Director at Ten10, sheds light on these challenges and takes a look at how to foster a culture of inclusivity for women in tech.

Jenny Briant is the Academy Operations Director at Ten10.

women in tech

Jenny is responsible for the day to day operations of the Ten10 Academy, covering all aspects of recruitment, training, wellbeing and client placement. She has been with the company since 2017. 

Despite ongoing efforts to address gender diversity in tech, stereotypes and systemic biases persist, preventing the industry from fully tapping into the potential talent pool of women.

In fact, data from Accenture reveals that the ratio of women to men in tech roles has declined over the past 35 years, with around 50% of women leaving the field by the age of 35. This decline is largely attributed to a lack of inclusivity within the industry, particularly evident in the disparities in promotion rates between men and women early in their careers – only 52 women are promoted to manager for every 100 men across the tech sector. As a result, many talented women are refusing to enter the sector, depriving companies of valuable workforce diversity and hindering overall performance.

Throughout history, women have confronted numerous barriers in tech, yet their unique qualities can significantly enhance an industry often perceived as rigid. By championing equal opportunities, establishing mentorship programs, and implementing supportive policies, we can reshape the industry’s structure, ensuring that young women have access to female mentors who can guide them throughout their educational and professional journeys.

women in tech

Understanding the unique challenges faced by women in tech

Imposter syndrome presents a significant challenge for women in the technology industry. Many women in tech experience feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, stemming from the perception that they don’t belong and are not as skilled as their male counterparts. This pervasive sense of being an imposter disproportionately affects women, particularly when returning to work after motherhood, as they feel the pressure to prove themselves among their male peers while balancing childcare responsibilities.

Addressing imposter syndrome is crucial for fostering a more inclusive and supportive work environment within the industry. Recognising the disproportionate impact of imposter syndrome on women, proactive measures can be taken during the recruitment process to alleviate these feelings of self-doubt. For instance, incorporating questions aimed at affirming confidence and competence can help reassure female applicants of their capabilities and worth. By providing personalised feedback and highlighting the relevance of their skills, recruiters can empower women to overcome imposter syndrome and assert their place in the tech arena.

Tackling misconceptions around qualifications

There is a widespread misconception that a degree in computer science is a prerequisite for a successful career in the field. Liberal arts degrees, for example, provide a well-rounded foundation for critical thinking, a skill highly valued in tech. Some hiring managers actively seek out liberal arts degree holders who have acquired technical knowledge later in life. Individuals with liberal arts backgrounds often excel as developers and tech leaders due to their ability to think critically, a trait valuable for mastering complex tasks. Additionally, they possess communication and soft skills essential for roles beyond technical functions, bridging the gap between technology and non-technical audiences.

Mentorship programs also play a pivotal role in reshaping the narrative of women in tech by providing support, breaking down stereotypes, and inspiring women to pursue diverse career opportunities. Through mentorship initiatives, women can gain practical insights and guidance from inspiring role models, empowering them to navigate the tech landscape with confidence and resilience. Overall, empowering women to pursue tech training and honing their leadership skills can bring about transformative ideas into the realm of tech.

Tailoring work models to suit their needs

Flexible work arrangements play a crucial role in addressing the brain drain issue and the shortage of senior-level women in tech. Studies consistently demonstrate that flexibility not only attracts more women to the workplace but also retains them – according to a study by Deloitte, women are more likely to quit jobs that do not offer flexible working hours.

The ability to balance professional commitments with personal obligations is essential for many women, and flexible work arrangements provide the autonomy needed to achieve this balance. Embracing flexible work structures is an essential step for tech companies seeking to narrow the gender gap and foster a more inclusive industry landscape.

Beyond mere statistics or quotas, the support for women in tech entails a deeper commitment to make lasting changes. Through initiatives such as advocating for equal opportunities, implementing mentorship programs, and fostering supportive policies, we can make substantial strides in reshaping the industry’s structure. Ultimately, fostering equal opportunities for women in the industry is not only essential for individual well-being but also for driving innovation and progress towards achieving the UK’s vision of becoming a ‘tech superpower’.




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