Historically, women have been an underutilized part of the work force, especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). As more women consider fields such as information technology (IT), methods of recruiting and hiring should be examined and modified to make sure they’re effective for a more diverse population.
Great employees—and especially great female employees—can bring new perspectives and innovation to your company. The right message is key to recruiting more women to your IT team.
Why Women in IT?
How can hiring more women make a difference for your company? The gender gap is abysmal in IT, which is unfortunate since gender diversity leads to more perspectives and better ideas. There are also several studies about the benefits of having women on teams and in companies. Here are a few, summarized by the Anita Borg Institute:
- Professors Anita Woolley and Thomas Malonen, economists from Carnegie Mellon, discovered that teams with at least one female member scored higher group intelligence scores than teams with just men.
- According to Gallup, companies with more diversity on staff have a 22 percent lower turnover rate, and if an organization has a more inclusive culture that embraces women, it’s easier to recruit a diverse staff.
- A 2012 study on women’s participation in IT patents found that patents with mixed-gender teams were cited 30 to 40 percent more than similar patents with all-male teams.
- Studies in 17 different countries in different industries found that having a larger number of women on a team meant greater psychological safety, team confidence, group experimentation and team efficiency.
Mistakes in Recruiting Women
Companies have started to see the value of hiring diverse employees and have begun shifting to the mindset of recruiting women specifically. This affects culture, and these companies have started to implement recruiter anti-bias training and employee resource groups to aid in employee retention.
But even with all of these efforts, the percentage of women in IT and technology is perilously low—only 26 percent of women with STEM degrees work in technical careers. According to a Stanford study, a faulty recruiting process contributes to this low number. Recruitment presenters are often men, female engineers (when present) hardly ever have speaking roles and recruiters can reinforce gender stereotypes with sexist jokes and imagery.
A New Way to Recruit
Creating an unbiased and female-friendly recruiting process can be difficult when your current IT workforce is mostly male and you’re in the middle of adjusting your culture. It can be hard to recognize the parts of your process and company that may be a deterrent to women.
This is where objective recruitment experts can help. As an outsider, they can help you develop consistent messaging internally and externally by examining your hiring sessions and your collateral and recruiting copy and helping you create the best environment for reaching diverse employees.
Without consulting a recruitment expert and getting help effectively communicating your company’s priorities, you may unwittingly repel top candidates. But by putting in the work to create a communications plan and messaging and materials that resonate with female candidates, your IT workforce can be more diverse, therefore more effective and successful.
Want to talk about how engaging recruitment communications can attract more women to your team? Email us or call (317) 631-6400.