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Nearly half of women in the technology sector say their firms are not making diversity a priority, according to research.
A study by Booking.com found 48% of women in the technology sector said their company is not making gender diversity a core business focus.
While 52% of women in tech said firms are making gender diversity a priority, many also said more needs to be done both to nurture women once they start a technology career and to encourage others into a tech career.
Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com, said a focus on gender diversity in tech firms will also give firms access to a larger talent pool, with the potential to encourage more women into tech as a result.
“Driving greater gender diversity in tech is as much about unearthing untapped talent as it is about supporting women who have already built the skills, knowledge and expertise in our sector,” she said. “Diversifying talent – with all aspects of experience, backgrounds and career paths – needs to be front of mind.”
While many agree having a more diverse workforce contributes to a more successful business, women in the tech sector have admitted the lack of diversity in the tech workforce was a deterrent in their early career.
Almost 90% of women in tech said increasing the gender diversity of the sector would help contribute to innovation through sharing different perspectives, backgrounds and experiences to those already making up a majority of technology roles.
Read more about women in tech
- This e-guide looks at the opinions many industry experts have on how to accelerate the number of women in the technology industry and why doing so is important.
- The percentage of women on the boards of technology firms has not changed for the last 20 years, with the gap between men and women on boards growing.
In some cases, women taking a break from the workplace for various reasons can contribute to the gender pay gap as women may not reach the C-suite at the same rate as men – some firms are making an effort to help women who have taken a break from work have an easier time re-entering the workplace at an appropriate level.
Around 60% of women in tech who have taken a career break and returned to the industry said taking a break from work had a negative impact on their career progression.
Three in five of women in technology who have taken a career break said they feel their contributions at work are less valued – Booking.com claimed more focus needs to be made on retraining and supporting people who have taken a break from work, as well as improve the inclusion in firms.
More than 30% of women who have returned to the industry after a break said regular opportunities to gain access to new skills and training were “essential” to their success in the sector, while 64% said “reskilling” opportunities helped them overcome the negative impact returning to work had on their confidence.
More than 90% of women in tech said an inclusive culture and more flexibility would benefit all employees, not just women.
Many women now say they would recommend a technology career to others, and Booking.com found 88% of women in tech said increasing the gender representation of the technology workforce would improve brand reputation, while 84% said an increased gender balance would increase the general trust in technology firms.
Booking.com has tried to focus on women in tech over the last few years, running the annual Technology Playmaker Awards to make female role models in the sector more visible and accessible, as well as celebrate their achievements.