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Five Ways to Foster Gender Inclusion in IT

Improving DEI in IT. Get started with these five tips.

women around a white board

Many business leaders have endeavored to be intentional with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies, but programme implementation appears to be lacking and results can be difficult to track. According to DEI research in the IT industry (conducted by TEKsystems in North America) 58% of women in IT report that they have a sense of belonging at work versus 85% of men and 45% of women stating that DEI programmes positively impacted their careers, compared to 70% of men. Results showed further gender disparity with 55% of women feeling they have growth opportunities at work, compared to 89% of men.

Why Is Gender Inclusivity Important?

An inclusive workplace culture is key for employee retention, innovation, and business growth. Cultivating an inclusive workplace requires companies to take a fresh approach to DEI strategy, from recruiting and onboarding to continuous learning and career advancement. Implementing sustainable change means taking unconventional, bold steps when sourcing and hiring employees. It means creating programmes and policies that engage and respond to employees from every level and background. Organisations that fail to adapt will continue to face problems caused by unintentional gender bias and the ongoing war for talent such as:

  • Increased attrition among women technologists
  • Slowed productivity and innovation
  • Decreased ROI

Tackling these challenges can help improve employee morale and strengthen a company in the long run.

Where to Start?

To stand out as an inclusive workplace, start from where you are. Evaluate and change systems of management, diversify talent pipelines, and invest in workforce education.

Here are our top five ways to revolutionise your workplace culture.

  • Intentional leadership: Expand your current recruiting pools to include non-traditional sources and evaluate your review/promotions process to diversify your decision-making panels. When employees see women and people of colour climbing the corporate ladder, they are motivated to believe the same is possible for them.
  • Purpose-driven partnerships: Seek out partners who can diversify your talent pipeline into traditionally untapped networks.
  • Empathy through education: Offer unconscious bias and DEI leadership workshops.
  • Proactive planning: Allocate focused time each week toward DEI programming.
  • Gather feedback: Feedback (i.e., surveys and focus groups) on employee satisfaction is critical to building/tracking customised DEI programs and policy, and it keeps leadership accountable.

Rebecca Clarke, Director of Employee Experience and DEI Strategy Lead for TEKsystems EMEA says, “Tackling gender disparity in IT, involves an understanding and appreciation of where your business is at. Followed by purposeful, innovative approaches powered by partnership.

At TEKsystems, our approach is aligned to our business goals and underpinned by Inclusion as one of our core values. While the research shows signs of progress within the technology industry, there’s still work to be done to implement and sustain lasting change. Through our ERGs, education and awareness events, and the hard work of our board and committee, we’re committed to continuing to support the evolving needs of our workforce and our customers.”

Although IT leaders support DEI efforts, many companies lack a fundamental, programmatic approach to enact real, sustainable change. We can address this by evaluating and changing systems of management, diversifying talent pipelines, educating the workforce and more.

Need guidance? Contact us