Breaking The Entry Barriers Of Women In The Tech Sector

According to the report published by Deloitte last year, women’s representation in technical roles increased by 11.7% from 2019 to 2022—the global tech industry grappled with gender imbalances hindering its full potential towards growth and innovation. In the recent episode of the Recruiting Brainfood podcast, Fionnuala O’Conor, CEO of OpDem, discussed the persuasive feeling of exclusion among women in tech. She emphasised the company culture stems from deeply ingrained biases that pose substantial hurdles for women in recruitment and career advancement.

As per the statistics of Zippia, 39% of the women in the tech sector perceive gender bias and see it as an obstacle to their promotion. With the rapid growth of the tech industry in India, the role of women in its different segments is undeniable. Still, when it comes to the tech industry, there are significant entry barriers the majority of women face today. 

While hiring managers and executives are not intentionally disqualifying women based on their gender, the scarcity of female candidates in tech roles remains in limelight. It is a clear indication that there is no clear path for women that accelerates their entry into this industry and boosts career advancement.

Technology Sector Perceives As A Male Dominant 

The major challenge in the tech sector is that not enough women are entering the talent pipeline. It causes the primary barrier that keeps talented and aspiring women from contributing and taking on top tech roles. Recent research by PWC with over 2,000 A-level and university students found that the gender gap in technology starts at school and continues to every stage of girls’ and women’s lives. A survey conducted in 2023 by the PWC team revealed that only 27% of women want to make a career in technology compared to 61% of their male counterparts. Of 27%, only 3% of women said it would be their first choice.

The ongoing challenge is the persistent lack of female role models, which reinforces an outdated perception that the sector is a male profession and not something women should pursue. Today, women struggle to break down such barriers to senior leadership and remain underrepresented, underpaid, and most overlooked in the technology industry.

Eliminating Entry Barriers For Women In Tech Industry

The research of McKinsey & Company conducted in 2023 found that women represented 46% of the public sector workforce compared to 33% in the private sector. Analysts revealed that it is mainly due to the public sector’s long reputation for providing flexible working models that support women in balancing their professional lives with childcare. The pandemic solidified the trend of flexible work culture for women, which triggered the mass adoption of it in the private sector, too. 

Removing Hiring Biases

Equitable pay for equal work is the paramount issue in the tech sector. Despite the notable achievements, 72% of the women expressed their concerns about the persistence of the gender pay gap. To eliminate the barrier of unequal pay, a company’s top management needs to implement regular pay audits, fair negotiation, and transparent compensation systems.

Creating Inclusive Workplaces

In the discourse surrounding tech culture, there is a pressing need to create a more inclusive workplace that brings out the talented women on the board and gives them much-needed opportunities. In the article of Business Insider, it is mentioned by Women Employed that 84% of the women demand the urgent need for a substantial cultural shift, which is a non-negotiable.

Competency-Based Recruitment

Competency-based recruitment focusing on skills rather than formal credentials can reduce gender imbalances in tech and create a more diversified workforce. Various research highlights that women can excel in tech roles when they undergo a fair and competency-based hiring process, fostering inclusivity and talent diversity in an organisation.

Tech organisations with equitable representation of men and women have a high rate of staff retention and well-being. India, which has one of the fastest-growing tech industries, faces various barriers to women’s entry. To eliminate these barriers, the role of the existing women leaders in tech and senior management will be huge. These leaders must create transparent hiring and an inclusive work culture that empowers women to take on bigger tech roles and contribute to the organisation’s success.

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