New research from Monster.co.uk, in conjunction with YouGov, has revealed that almost a quarter of UK employers (22 percent) believe women are at a disadvantage when it comes to securing jobs within the technology sector.
Despite almost half of employers (48 percent) admitting they find it difficult to recruit for technology roles, there is reluctance to adapt current policies to encourage gender equality – a startling three quarters (75 percent) of employers admitted they have no plans to do so. In recognition of the issues many employers are facing, Monster has come together with key industry leaders including Code First Girls, Stemettes, Apps for Good, RBI, Michael Page, S3 Group and JLR Solutions to launch the Tech Talent Charter. The charter encourages businesses to sign up to a set of key measures which aim to increase the amount of female talent within their organisations.
Gender discrepancies are echoed by UK employees, with 59 per cent reporting there are more men than women in technical and digital jobs within their organization and just 35 per cent believing men and women are equally represented in these roles. The research highlighted that many still feel the UK is a long way from achieving gender parity in the office, 39 per cent believe women still have to work harder for a promotion or recognition and over two fifths (47 percent) of females say they have either experienced themselves or witnessed gender inequality in the workplace.
In order to address these inequalities, the top five things UK employees think need to be implemented are: Transparency on equal pay for women and men (55 percent); Offering paternity and family leave to both men and women (43 percent); Greater flexibility on working hours and working from home (40 percent); More encouragement for women to study STEM subjects (32 percent) and more training for managers and staff on best equality practice (31 percent).
Ensuring women and men alike are encouraged into the technology sector has never been more important as the UK faces a much discussed digital skills shortage. More than half of UK employees (54 percent) agreed having stronger technology skills would help them find a better job and one in four (24 percent) rated learning basic coding skills as important, yet only 15 per cent took an IT or tech course at school or university. The majority of UK employees (84 percent) expressed an interest in having comprehensive training across coding, computer language and digital skills.
Commenting on the findings, Sinead Bunting, European Director of Consumer Marketing said: “With a looming digital skills gap that is critical for our economy’s growth, we need to do all we can to encourage and support organisations in bringing on board more female talent, and todays research highlights there is still a way to go until females have equal representation within the technology sector. It was especially worrying to see so many employers admit that they had no plans to adapt their policies.
Here at Monster we’ve recognised that to truly move the dial and effect change we are stronger working as a unified collective. We have a need and an opportunity to build a dynamic, representative and commercially successful tech workforce. However we do need to rethink and change how we build our talent pipelines, how we recruit and how we retain our tech staff. The Tech Talent Charter is a way we can all work together to make that happen and that is something we at Monster and in the Tech Talent Charter steering group are incredibly excited about.”