Tap Into The Female Tech Talent Pipeline
4 things all tech firms should be doing that can lead to a goldmine of female talent.
3 min read
You’ve decided you want to increase gender diversity in your tech company, but you’re not getting the right applicants for your roles. Your applicant pool is not gender-diverse enough and you don’t know what to do.
Well, there’s a whole female talent pipeline in tech out there just waiting for you to tap into. They’re some of the brightest, and most hard-working, people in the industry, and you need to find out how to reach these women.
1. Network and engage with women in tech groups
There are lots of women in tech groups out there where women are actively looking for roles in the tech industry. They’re just waiting for you to discover them. For example, you can promote your job on Tech Ladies or through Ada’s List. There are many groups online and ones that meet in real life.
If you’re female, you can join some of these groups to interact with other members, and eventually share your job opportunities. If not, then consider asking a female tech employee from your company to represent you in the groups.
You should also broaden and systemise your other recruitment practices. You don’t want to just be using the same old methods to recruit your candidates because clearly, women aren’t using these channels.
If you use recruiters, tell them you want to see a certain number of female applicants put through – as long as they fit the requirements, of course.
2. Promote your family-friendly policies and practices
If you’re truly committed to hiring more women, having family-friendly policies and practices is a no-brainer. These are policies that help your employees balance family and work life.
This could be anything from flexible working hours to part-time opportunities and job sharing, to generous maternity & paternity leave, remote working, or even childcare facilities at work.
Promote them in your job descriptions to show that you’re serious about attracting a diverse candidate pool.
3. Promote and invest in career and personal development for staff
Women will generally be more attracted to working in your company if you invest in their career & personal development.
Since women are persistently held back from advancement due to a combination of factors, demonstrate your commitment to their development by supporting initiatives such as female leadership or mentorship programmes.
Include these in your job descriptions as well to encourage more women to apply.
4. Tackle unconscious bias as ongoing business development
According to the Office of Diversity and Outreach, unconscious bias relates to the social stereotypes we hold about certain groups of people that are outside our conscious awareness. We use them to categorise our social experiences and quickly make snap judgments about people.
These stereotypes can be about anything from someone’s age, race, or gender, to religion, to their weight or sexual orientation.
Of course, there’s a tendency to favour others who are like ourselves.
If you have mainly male hiring managers in your tech company, they’ll be unconsciously biased against hiring candidates who are unlike themselves – often resulting in a lack of female hires.
Rather than simply hosting a one-off workshop, make tackling unconscious bias in your hiring and HR practices a key part of your ongoing business strategy.
Michelle Gyimah is the Director of Equality Pays, a Gender Equality Consultancy dedicated to helping technology firms create inclusive business cultures. Her firm has worked with technology firms and the financial services industry. Michelle is a regular contributor to numerous business magazines, international conferences and lives in Manchester, UK.