The technology sector is fast growing and diverse, and it is an area of huge investment across the world. Here in Ireland, the technology sector is a major industry that offers secure and rewarding careers to talented individuals in many fields, and roles range from graduate positions to opportunities to develop skills and progress to higher level positions.
It may be surprising, therefore, to find that the gender balance within the technology sector is so great, and that women are so underrepresented in this industry. Recent research from Silicon Valley Bank found that 2017 actually saw a decline in gender diversity across US tech start-ups, and that only 30% of companies had a female on the board.
A more equal gender balance is a goal for many enterprises within the technology industry, and the current skills gap could be alleviated by encouraging more women into these high level roles. Taking steps to make such roles more appealing to female applicants, and to close the wage gap, could be beneficial to individuals and organisations, as well as to the industry as a whole. The following have emerged from research as potential ways to increase gender diversity:
Promote flexible working. Making positions more flexible is known to make them more appealing to female applicants, and research tells us that women who can organise their own working hours or work from home are more productive and more loyal to their employers than their counterparts who do not have flexible working hours. This breaks down barriers of home/work life balance and enables highly skilled individuals to participate in the industry on their own terms, rather than being excluded from the world of work by physical constraints.
Educate young people. When organisations collaborate with schools, it can be seen that awareness is raised about STEM subjects and the careers they can lead into. Education that enables girls and boys to see the potential of a career in the technology industry can begin to break down the barriers that restrict companies to traditional recruitment styles and outcomes, and can allow talented individuals to create a career in which they can develop their interests and make a real contribution to the future of technology.
Embrace the future. The technology industry has an unlimited scope to change the face of our world, and the role of the government in making it accessible to all is crucial. Promoting the potential of roles in this area to transform our daily lives, and encouraging as much diversity as possible in the workforce of the industry can only be positive steps, moving towards a much more equal representation for everyone in the future.
CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist recruitment firm, based in Cork, Limerick, Shannon and Galway, and our professional team can help you to find the new position you are looking for. Contact us online now or call us on +353 (0) 21 206 1900 to arrange a consultation.
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