As International Women’s Day approaches voices from the recruitment industry have suggested ways in which the gender imbalances of the workplace can be addressed.
Discussing her company’s sector, Bev White, CEO of Harvey Nash Group said: “There is no easy solution to getting more women into technology. Technology is still often depicted as a nerdish, inward looking career, and whilst that perception is beginning to change, it still has a dragging effect.
“I think a key thing here is that we really need to turn up the volume on how technology is anything but nerdish,” she said. “In fact, I can’t think of a more creative, rewarding and exciting career that can genuinely change the world!
“For leaders and managers in tech, our role is to do everything we can to facilitate the creation of inclusive and open workplaces. It is about supporting, mentoring and sometimes nudging people in our teams to advance, develop and progress. People usually have far more potential than they think they do – it’s about helping them unlock that, whoever they are and whatever their gender.”
Elsewhere, Laura Baldwin, president at education resource company O’Reilly said: “There are many steps to ensure equality, but this year we need to focus on our own thoughts and actions. For years, women have taken a back seat to men when it comes to opportunities in the workplace. There have been women who haven’t applied for a job just because they are a couple of years short on experience or don’t speak up in meetings when they have valuable insights to share simply because they feel their answer may not be perfect. But we need to move past these gender constructs and stand up, take risks, make our voices heard.”
Baldwin highlight the intelligence, empathy and multi-tasking abilities of women as qualities every board should aspire to have represented adding: “we have to seek out those opportunities, let the world know we are open to them, and rise to the occasion.”
However Baldwin is keen to explain opportunities are a two-way street, and actions speak louder than words. “At O’Reilly, we focus on hiring the best person for the job – no matter the gender – and foster a culture of respect and equality. This has led to 47 per cent of our employees, more specifically 60 per cent of our new hires in 2019, and 50 per cent of our executive team being women.”