There is a well-documented gender gap in the technology sector but research shows that diverse teams lead to better results. Here are seven actionable strategies you can use to help your South Florida company recruit and retain women in tech.
1. Create gender-neutral job postings
Examine your recruiting materials and identify any words that might inadvertently turn off female applicants. For example, instead of words like “aggressive” or “hard-driving,” you might say “motivated,” and “energetic,” which are far more neutral in connotation.
2. Create an inclusive digital profile
Tech job seekers will do a great deal of research on a company before applying or accepting an offer. Take a good look at your online footprint. What does it say to prospective employees about your company’s inclusiveness and diversity?
3. Know who’s interviewing who
If a woman comes in for an interview, is she sitting down with five men? If women don’t see people who look like them when evaluating you as a potential employer, their interest will fade and fade fast. Make sure that interview teams are diverse in gender, age, ethnicity and background.
4. Focus on your pipeline
If you want to build a pool of talented female candidates, you’ve got to put the effort into building a solid pipeline. This can take a great deal of time, but you can jump-start the process by:
- Increasing your referral bonus for employees if they recommend candidates from underrepresented groups (this can include hard-to-find skills).
- Host a speaker, event or hack-a-thon that features vertical or subject matter of interest to women.
- Sponsor or host seminars/hack days/boot camps for women tech students at a local college campus.
- Actively pursue passive female talent.
5. Host blind coding events
“Blind Auditions” can eliminate (or at least reduce) bias in the hiring process. On websites like GapJumpers, employers post jobs along with specific challenges designed around the skill sets they are seeking. This setup allows hiring teams to evaluate candidates based on abilities, removing much of the human bias that can inadvertently creep into the process.
6. Offer flex time
Flex time benefits anyone of any gender with any family situation, but offering flexible scheduling is extremely important to women who have children or who care for ailing parents. Today, work can be done from anywhere at any time and hours logged in a cubicle or office don’t matter nearly as much as results.
7. Offer clear and equal paths for advancement
51 percent of women said being a working mother made it harder to advance their careers, compared to 16 percent of fathers, according to Pew Research. Consider liberal maternity leave policies, offer child care stipends as part of a salary or bonus structure, and make sure that you invest in the development of all of your talented employees, offering equal opportunity for parents. Parents who feel that their paths for growth are stifled will become disengaged, eventually seeking out new opportunities.
If you are looking for strategies to recruit and retain women for your technical positions, reach out to the expert recruiters at CERS in South Florida today.