Women make up an important part of the technology workforce, and their numbers are only growing. In a competitive industry, where talented employees are worth their weight in gold, finding, hiring, and retaining female candidates must be a significant part of your organization’s staffing strategy.
Here are a few ideas on how to attract and keep female IT talent. Hopefully, these insights will help improve the overall talent level at your office.
Transparent Gender Diversity
In the hopes of championing gender diversity, many larger enterprises – Salesforce, GoDaddy, Google, etc. – publicly disclose their percentage of female employees as well as the average salaries of both genders. Following a similar policy at your organization brings the dual benefit of attracting quality technologists of both genders while garnering a measure of good publicity in your region.
Develop Female Mentoring Programs
Institute a program at your office focused on mentoring and sponsoring women employees. This especially helps your female employees interested in eventually moving into a management and/or executive roles. Leveraging your current female team members to mentor those new to your company helps build camaraderie at your workplace – a big part of developing the culture needed to retain your top talent.
A Women-Friendly Recruiting Process
Some HR experts feel technology recruiting practices suffer from an unconscious gender bias. Diversity on your hiring panels, along with job descriptions foregoing aggressive terms – like “ninja” – helps to mitigate this issue. A simple focus on finding and hiring the best female technology talent in your area also contributes to fostering a gender-neutral recruiting process.
Cultivate Internal and External Women’s Tech Communities
Work with your senior female technologists to develop an internal women’s organization to share networking ideas, advice, and professional experiences. Interfacing your in-house community with those in the surrounding region helps to position your company as one that’s focused on making a difference concerning women in the STEM workforce.
Katrina Roberts, vice president in the technology organization at American Express commented on the importance of networking for women technology professionals. “Women have to be encouraged to network; it’s not necessarily something they feel comfortable doing. The more people are talking about you, the more opportunities come up that might not be on your radar screen,” said Roberts.
Support Female STEM Education Initiatives
A good project for your internal women’s organization is to partner with the schools in your area on female STEM education projects. Getting girls interested in technology as a profession only serves to grow the talent pool in the years to come.
If you are interested in building a top-notch, gender-diverse technology team at your company, talk to the knowledgeable group at MindFinders. As one of the top IT staffing agencies in Washington, DC, we provide the great candidates and business insight to help ensure your success. Schedule a meeting with us soon!
Written by Tim Booker, President and CEO of MindFinders, with over 20 years of industry experience.