Women in technology: how important is diversity and how can the situation be changed?

Education as a major lever for this transformation

It is impossible to ignore the fact that women hold only a third of digital jobs. A figure that clearly demonstrates the difficulty of this environment in breaking out of the many stereotypes and prejudices that can intimidate women wishing to work in this sector. Integrating all-male teams, especially in the development profession to name a few, requires courage and perseverance. This inventory reflects the need to transform the culture of an entire environment so that the incorporation of feminine features is not experienced as a method of cross but as a natural event.

Beyond awareness, we also have to look back and understand why we got here. The question of education and pedagogical orientation of girls is repeatedly raised, and rightly so. According to one Study published by Epitech and Ipsos In November 2021, only 33% of girls were encouraged to pursue digital careers, compared to 61% of boys. The gap is still very wide and the education system continues to send the wrong signals to girls and boys alike. We must smash this myth, from an early age, according to which technical jobs can only interest males. However, current societal movements that concern women as much as other minorities, and that have been silent for so long, are allowing an entire generation to bring about a much-needed change in mentality. The concept of specific roles between men and women is changing and this contributes significantly to introducing more diversity in many sectors, including the technology sector.

Retraining is one of the keys to change

Despite the less than encouraging note, there are still some reasons to note hope. Indeed, more and more female profiles are investing in the technology environment thanks to the many possibilities of professional retraining, both at the end of their studies and in the middle of their careers. We found that according to figures collected internally in recent recruitment campaigns, approximately one-third of profiles received were in professional retraining. A trend that tends to increase thanks to the statement #ReconversionFemmesNum in particular. The latter encourages the presence of women in the digital professions and allows those who have taken up their role to integrate sustainably. Since its launch in 2019, more than 530 women in the IT field have been recruited after signing the statement. An initiative that also aims to educate managers about these issues and develop a culture of inclusivity.

Going in this direction means understanding that diversity within tech companies presents a real opportunity for team cohesion and ability to overcome difficulties. Having more profiles like this allows you to take advantage of a different perspective and approach to projects. And in a context where the digital professions are experiencing a very strong demand for skills, the contribution of all profiles, including those that meet the need for diversity, is absolutely essential. Ultimately, attracting and hiring more female profiles appears to be an advantage but also a real chance for survival for companies that are also striving to stem the acute talent shortage prevalent in the digital professions as effectively as possible.

Diversity, a challenge for human resources

To implement this change in culture within an entire sector, it is necessary to spread an effective awareness policy among all the actors in the company: from management to employees via managers. Concretely, this amounts to intelligently developing the attractiveness and openness of business. Aspects that can be worked on in designing more comprehensive job offers through a more thoughtful selection of the terms used and the tone used to attract female candidates, among other things.

In addition, the gradual inclusion of soft skills in the hiring process is an interesting way to hire many diverse profiles that are beneficial to the company. This way of working allows recruiters to expand the scope of possibilities and free themselves from obscuring male stereotypes that no longer exist. Strong choices that contribute to meeting this need for diversity while bypassing this issue to tend toward recruitment that is centered around skills and personality, regardless of the candidate’s gender.

In concrete terms, this is an approach that has already paid off in sales, marketing and product positioning in the technology sector. And even if the ratio Only 17% of women are in the digital sector in FranceCompared to 12% in 2018, the democratization of female features is still in its infancy. A hopeful perspective that should encourage women to dare to enter the world of technology!

by Nicholas Gandemer, Head of Engineering at Sellsy

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