Attracting more women to the male-dominated tech industry
One of the fastest growing and most diverse industries recruiting today is the IT sector. With more companies than ever before relying on computer-based systems and online interactions, there is a huge demand for qualified professionals who can maintain and manage IT systems, or create and manage specialist software. There are also great financial opportunities in this sector, with IT project managers taking home an average salary of around £48,000.
There are so many ways to work in IT. Everything from offices to schools, from hospitals to warehouses, has an IT network at its centre and an online platform to maintain. Working in IT can involve some of the world’s most interesting and unusual industries. From developing a website for a local company to project managing global conference communications, there are many ways women could be involved in IT work.
However, a Deloitte study from 2016 notes that just one-quarter of tech jobs in developed nations are held by women, with very few of the senior roles being allocated to female workers. The study also asserts that this disparity is a key contributor to the overall gender pay gap. So why are women staying away from this lucrative and exciting industry – and what can be done to attract more females into the IT sector?
Why are there fewer women in tech jobs than men?
There is a wider problem of low female engagement in the science and engineering sectors. A 2015 study found that more than half of women who start in tech-based industries end up leaving for a different sector. The top reasons cited for leaving include feeling isolated or bullied, poor management and feedback, and a lack of opportunities to move up the career ladder.
This is certainly true in the IT sector, say women working in the industry. However, men in the tech sector tend to disagree. They feel that there are plenty of opportunities for women and that jobs are open to the best candidate, whatever their gender. Often, they claim that there are too few women entering education on IT courses – therefore, there are not enough qualified women to compete for the best tech jobs.
There is some truth in this. Even in countries where the genders are close to equal in law, such as Norway, Finland and the UK, there is a significant lack of women studying on tech and computer-based degree courses. Women are less likely to studying programming, engineering and other related disciplines. Yet the gap is not so broad as some would have you believe – women are signing up in increasing numbers to study IT related subjects. So why are they still underrepresented when it comes to employment – and what can be done about the issue?
Attracting more women to tech jobs
More female role models in IT could help to entice workers into the sector. There has always been a distinct lack of female CEOs among the top tech companies, though this is starting to change. Recruiters can inspire young women to work in IT through the success stories of some of the industry’s rising female stars: such as Jessica Naziri of TechSesh, FileMaker senior Dara Treseder or engineer Erica Baker from Slack.
Search for candidates in female-focused forums and social media sites. Women who work in tech often band together online, discussing opportunities and sharing experiences. These hives of female IT professionals are a great resource to tap when recruiting. There are also focus programs which are designed to push women into male-dominated work fields, backed by grant money in many cases and partnering with these initiatives can increase a job’s visibility to a female audience.
Always use gender-neutral language when writing IT vacancy posts. Studies also suggest using less masculine language – for example, ‘developer’ instead of ‘hacker’ and ‘IT professional’ instead of ‘techie’.
Companies that promote more women will almost certainly attract more women into the business. Knowing that a company has a female management team could encourage more women to apply for the role, and give them confidence that the job has future prospects. Women in tech jobs often feel they are passed over for promotion while their male colleagues rise up the ranks, so by promoting women to senior roles, new staff will immediately have confidence in their new employer.
Offering flexible working isn’t always possible for employers, but a degree of flexibility in an IT role could ensure that females with families are able to join the industry. There are plenty of IT roles which can be carried out remotely, either some or all of the time. In-house IT roles with flexible hours, or a family-friendly approach to urgent leave requests, can empower women to enter the tech field and use their IT skills on a full or part-time basis.
Retaining female IT professionals
Even where companies are strong at hiring women for IT jobs, the industry still has a high attrition rate. In order to keep skilled IT professionals on their books, companies need to ensure their female workers are getting fair opportunities and an equal salary. IT jobs often feature among studies of job satisfaction and happiness, with settled IT workers reporting that they enjoy their job. However, women have slightly lower rates of job satisfaction, and this is likely a result of the barriers they face. To ensure that women are attracted to IT jobs and that they stay in them, employers should work continually to maintain an equal and fair workplace.
For more information on recruitment for a wide range of industries, including the IT sector, contact Time Recruitment today. Our busy and fast-growing Manchester based recruitment agency sources the most skilled and reliable staff to fill roles at your company.
5 ways to make a lasting first impression in work
First impressions count for a lot and making the right one is vital when you’re starting a new job in particular. Fitting in with an entirely new group of people in a professional capacity isn’t quite the same as making friends, though we all hope to be friends with our colleagues eventually.
How to get a job in healthcare with low experience
Getting a job in healthcare when you have little to no experience might seem like an impossible task. Perhaps you feel like breaking into the industry is like trying to find a needle in a haystack or that many employers are only interested in candidates who already have a substantial amount of knowledge – especially for more senior roles.
However, contrary to popular belief, there are ways to work your way up in your chosen career with little experience by following a few simple tips.
Things to consider when looking for healthcare jobs
- Stay on top of industry news
Keeping up-to-date with the latest news and trends can work wonders if you are trying to break into the industry. There are some fascinating sources such as online magazines and forums that can tell you who is hiring and when – some of which focus on specialised areas which you may find particularly useful.
- Try your hand at networking
Once you have done your research and figured out what area of the healthcare industry you want to work in, you should then start to connect with as many people in the profession as possible.
By combining online networking with face-to-face networking you are creating a memorable identity for yourself. Do some voluntary work or join a healthcare association and you will gain invaluable experience that will get you noticed by the right people.
- Assess your transferable skills
If you’re hoping to get into the healthcare profession and you have come from another industry, work out which skills – mainly transferable skills – you can bring with you. Things like IT skills, human resources and secretarial experience are all useful qualities that you can prove to employers once you have got your foot through the door.
- Find a mentor
Every job role requires an opportunity to learn. That’s why it’s a good idea to find a mentor who can guide you with their industry insights – especially if you are in an entry level job. By demonstrating your passion and your willingness to learn and to grow in your working life, your mentor should be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to boosting your networking and job search efforts.
Find a job in healthcare that’s right for you
- Healthcare Assistant
Healthcare Assistants or HCAs are generally required to support doctors and nurses. They can usually be found in hospitals and doctors surgeries and play a vital role in caring for patients’ needs. Previous experience is useful but not entirely necessary making it a great job role for beginners.
You can also opt for an apprenticeship scheme or work towards a certificate such as a Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support Services which would give you the opportunity to branch out into other areas of the healthcare profession in the future.
- Dental Support Worker
Another role certainly worth looking into is a Dental Support Worker. This is a hands on role with no set entry requirements. Employers tend to favour a strong worth ethic and a positive attitude over employment history when it comes to recruiting for this position.
In a job like this you will usually receive a high level of on-the-job training as well as being encouraged to seek further knowledge in your spare time to help build your credentials. While on the job you will typically be found sterilising instruments, mixing fillings and assisting with X-Rays.
- Care worker
It’s useful to know that not every healthcare job consists of working in a hospital or surgery. In fact, there are opportunities in the social care sector that need a range of different skills.
A lot of carer jobs are very similar to Healthcare Assistants but primarily operate within a client’s home depending on what kind of care and treatment they need. It can be quite a competitive job role but voluntary work or personal experience can generally be enough for you to get your foot on the ladder.
- Pharmacy Technician
If you’re hoping for an entry level pharmaceutical role to boost your chances of working in the healthcare industry, becoming a Pharmacy Technician could be the ideal role for you. This is a great way to find a mentor like we mentioned in our previous section, as you will be working under the supervision of a registered Pharmacist.
Aside from collecting prescriptions and selling over-the-counter medicine, a Pharmacy Technician will be able to shadow a Pharmacist and offer basic advice to customers on which products would be most suited to their circumstances. Plus, trainee positions and apprenticeships are available to over 16s and anyone who is no longer in full-time education so you can work towards an NVQ in Pharmaceutical Science.
- Medical Secretary
If a non-clinical job role is more appealing to you than a practical alternative, perhaps becoming a Medical Secretary is the right option for you.
Medical Secretaries are an integral part of the healthcare industry, organising and scheduling appointments and dealing with day-to-day admin to help doctors and nurses carry out their role in the most effective way possible.
Of course previous admin experience would put you at an advantage but experience in specific sectors is not hugely important. The main things you will need to obtain are excellent organisational skills, a thirst for knowledge and the ability to use your initiative.
When it comes to searching for jobs in the healthcare industry, it’s crucial you are positive with your applications and don’t give up. It’s important to take regular breaks so you don’t overdo it, but have an open mind and be realistic with your search.
For more information on healthcare jobs or a range of other industries, visit Time Recruitment and speak to one of our helpful advisors.