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Women in the technology industry are very likely to recommend a career in technology to young women in education, as well as female undergraduates, according to Booking.com.
Research by the online travel firm found 84% of female tech sector professionals would encourage other young women into the technology industry, with 37% saying that women working in the sector could help to improve the gender split in tech if they joined initiatives aimed at encouraging girls and women into science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem).
Gillian Tans, CEO at Booking.com, said there seems to be a “sense of optimism” among women in the technology industry that there will eventually be increased diversity.
“It is encouraging and inspiring to see women in technology doing incredible things every day, including actively taking steps to engage with future generations, making their voices heard and launching programmes and initiatives with the goal to help drive further gender diversity in the tech workforce,” she said.
Young women have previously said they want more encouragement from role models already in the industry to pursue careers in Stem, and a lack of visible or accessible role models has often been cited as a reason that young women do not choose careers in Stem as “you can’t be what you can’t see”.
Booking.com’s research found 43% of school-aged girls and 53% of female undergraduate students want support and guidance in finding their career in technology.
More than 40% of women in the technology industry, as well as those who are interested in a career in the sector, said the best way women in tech could contribute to encouraging more females into the sector is by sharing their experiences.
Almost half said mentoring other women is a good way to encourage them into Stem, and half of female undergraduates said the same.
But women are also claiming that it is the responsibility of technology companies to hire more diverse candidates, as well as shine a light on role models and encourage mentoring.
Half of women said the most important change firms could make is to implement new hiring practices which attract more diverse talent.
Some in the industry believe this needs to be implemented through measurable targets, while others focus on the language in job adverts – what is agreed on across the industry is that current stereotypes in the tech sector deter junior talent.
Just over 40% said firms should put more effort into making role models accessible, whereas 42% said career progression in firms need to be more based on merit.
The same number of women also said that firms need to increase the number of women taking part in specific groups and projects to increase representation throughout the business, and 40% said there need to be more women on leadership boards – a sentiment also held by 53% of female undergraduates.
Just over 40% of women in technology said that firms need to implement unconscious bias training and return-to-work policies in the workplace to help them have a more successful career in the technology industry.
But the majority of women said they were happy in the sector, despite a large number of people in the industry stating they are not aware of any diversity practices currently carried out by their firms.
More than 70% of women working in the industry said they intend to stay in the tech industry for the next five to 10 years, with those who are in their early career more keen to stay in the industry.
More than 80% of women who have returned to tech after a career break said they wanted to stay in the sector, as did 66% of those with 10 or more years of experience.
Read more about women in IT
- Diversity has been an issue in the IT industry for a long time, and the number of women choosing IT for a career has been stagnant over the past few years.
- Recruitment firm links up with social enterprise to give young people experience in applying and interviewing for technology roles.