The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #BalanceForBetter.
No matter your gender, we all have a part to play in creating a more balanced society. This is particularly relevant for the UK tech industry, where in 2018, only 17% of workers were female.
But we can’t transform the big picture without making changes to the small, everyday challenges that women in tech face. And these problems aren’t limited to specialised tech companies. Regardless of sector, the IT departments in most organisations tend to be male dominated.
It’s time to change the way we recruit. What benefits will a balanced workforce bring to your team?
Imagine if everyone you worked with was exactly the same as you. You might think you’re a creative force to be reckoned with, but without coming into contact with people from different backgrounds and cultures, you are simply shouting into an echo chamber.
A balanced workforce is about more than just meeting the equality and diversity standards set by your HR department. It’s about improving your company culture, understanding the needs of your customers and recognising the talent that will make your organisation stronger.
Unfortunately, the lack of female representation in the tech industry is a self-perpetuating problem. An absence of visible female role models leaves many young women feeling alienated from the world of tech and therefore the cycle of imbalance continues.
The good news is that many of the women who work in the industry are ambassadors for addressing the gender disparity. Projects like The Girl’s Network and The Tech She Can Charter are flying the flag for inclusion, diversity and equality. Read about 5 women who are striking the right balance with tech apprenticeships here.
Addressing the skills gap
With a skills shortage looming over the UK’s tech landscape, it can be hard for businesses to access the talent they need to thrive. A seemingly obvious but often overlooked solution is to tap into the wealth of skills that women have to offer.
To achieve a truly balanced tech community, we need to work together. There isn’t a quick fix, as gender bias is deeply embedded into our society. A survey by The Tech Talent Charter found that only 27% of females would consider a career in tech, compared to 62% of males.
This means that we need to change perceptions about what a career in the tech industry really looks like. Baltic are working hard to dispel negative stereotypes about apprenticeships by empowering a new generation of female tech professionals.
By working in partnership with employers across the country, we have provided apprenticeship opportunities that have started the careers of many young women. But we’re only just starting to tip the scales.
That’s why we need your help! Find out how you can recruit an apprentice here.