The technology industry is booming
Amongst the economic hardship and the impossible trading conditions faced by the hospitality, retail and beauty industries (to name a few) as a result of the pandemic, the technology sector has gone from strength to strength. It is thriving as the digital economy demonstrates not only resilience but growth, making a significant contribution to improving the economic health of the country. UK job vacancies in the technology sector reached 75,000 in November 2020 alone.
The gender gap
The growth of this industry is however exacerbating a trend, which is becoming more and more prevalent- the absence of women. The World Economic Forum (2020) found that women make up only 22% of workers in the UK tech industry, this is substantially lower than that of all industries in UK which currently stands at 41%. This statistic looks worse when you consider the numbers for engineering (9%) and cloud computing (14%). Within our world of data, the ‘Alan Turing Report’ found that women are likely to be employed in lower status and lower paid jobs than their male peers.
International Women’s Day on the 8th March prompted us to draw attention to this gender bias in the tech industry and remind everybody of the importance of a diverse and representative workforce.
“Science is not a boy’s game, it’s not a girl’s game. It’s everyone’s game. It’s about where we are and where we’re going.” -Nichelle Nichols
The importance of a diverse workforce
Research has found many benefits of a diverse workforce. Whilst this blog focuses on gender diversity these benefits can be applied to different races, cultures, ages and sexual orientations.
Diversity has been found to increase innovation by 20% and the chance of identifying risks by 30%*. Affinity bias states that people tend to agree with likeminded and similar people. And so, by increasing the diversity within a company, you are more likely to be exposed to new opinions and to be challenged on your ideas therefore leading to increased innovation and in most cases a better solution. In an industry which is constantly developing, it is crucial to maximise innovation in this way to ensure success.
One of the biggest challenges with an under representation of women is that a gender bias can be built into technologies like AI and machine learning systems. Data driven platforms and solutions are designed to meet a user’s needs, however if the team involved in the design process for example are not representative of all users, then the output can be reflective of and even amplify the bias within the team.
In the hiring of people bias in the marketing algorithms has been found within the automated hiring processes**. These algorithms have resulted in a disproportionate amount of scientific job advertisements being shown to men vs women.
Gender diversity at Jarmany
At Jarmany we make sure that we are always recruiting from a diverse talent pool and that our hiring process is an inclusive one. By increasing our exposure to a diverse group of applicants we are promoting equal opportunities for all individuals. We believe that diversity is especially important amongst the early-in-career individuals, in order to not only meet our own commitment to diversity but to ensure we have the right balance to be as effective as we can as a business.
At Jarmany all employees are offered equal opportunities for skills training, client facing roles and the opportunity to be promoted from within.
Our commitment to diversity and equal opportunities is reflected in our workforce which is made up of 40% women, 18% higher than the country average.
Find out more about Jarmany’s culture here.
* Deloitte- the diversity and inclusion revolution
** Alan Turing Institute Report: Where are the women? Mapping the gender job gap in AI.