So, why is it so important that we improve female retention? It is a reality within the IT and Tech industry that companies struggle to retain their female employees, who, in some cases, leave to start their own companies. It is clear that there is an organizational problem within these companies that is resulting in the loss of female talent.
In fact, Insights for Professionals tells us that, in 2012, women ‘held 14.3% of executive positions at Fortune 500 companies but were paid just 75% of what their male counterparts were’. This highlights that, for whatever reason, female retention is low in the IT and Tech industry, one that would benefit the most from the innovative culture that breeds from a diverse workforce.
If you’d like to find out more about how diversity and inclusiveness can benefit your company then read this article.
How can IT and Tech companies improve female retention?
Here we have set out examples of how companies can improve their female retention rates…
1. Create a culture of ‘inclusion
It is important that companies re-think their culture to focus on the theme of ‘inclusion’. This is helpful in retaining, not only female employees, but also those from minority backgrounds. Within a supportive and inclusive environment, employees have more brand loyalty and feel heard in this setting. This is likely to improve innovation and increase profits within the organization.
2. Set public, long-term goals
According to Glassdoor.com, making public and long-term commitments can help to improve female retention. This is because the organization is holding themselves accountable if they don’t achieve the goals that they set out for themselves. As an example, we are told that Nokia created a multi-year goal, which outlines its goals on a public forum, committing itself to diversity. By doing this they aimed to achieve a level of diversity within all ranks of their organization, and the commitment itself was reassuring to present employees and promising for future employees.
3. Improve employee benefits
It is also important to take into consideration improving employee benefits to encourage female retention. In doing so an organization is communicating to its employees that it values them and supports them. It then means that female employees become loyal to a brand that is supportive of them, making it a harder decision to want to leave. Instead of seeing it as bribing the employee to stay, it should be seen as a way of helping them when they need the support.
5. Eliminate bias in the hiring process
Before all of this, a business should be able to hire a female candidate by attracting them to the organization. A way of doing this is by eliminating bias in the hiring process. Ways of doing this include:
- Using unbiased language in job descriptions
- Carefully choosing interview questions
- Choosing the right interviewer and more.
In this case, organisations in the IT and Tech industry will be, not only improving female retention, but also increasing their female employee intake.
These are examples of companies who are already taking steps to improve diversity within their organisations and, by extension, female retention. According to an article written by Marta Riggins:
- Etsy has taken steps to improve its ‘Hacker Grants’ to grow female engineer numbers.
- Intel offers larger bonuses to employees who refer female candidates for company vacancies.
- Google has improved its maternity benefits to improve female retention.
- Accenture has created a ‘sense of belonging’ as a main part of its company ethos to improve employee satisfaction.
Although there is some distance left to go, we are seeing organizations make the effort to improve their female retention by making changes in how their company recruits and supports its employees. This list shows how an organization can start to make these changes and will only result in an increase of female employees in the IT and Tech industry. In any case, it will encourage diversity in the workplace, and changes to employee satisfaction which have only proven to help businesses grow and profit.