How Can Employers Help Reduce The Gender Pay Gap in the Tech Industry?

24.08.2021

For women in the tech industry, lower pay per hour and reduced starting salary rates compared to their male counterparts are a sad reality. 

Whether this is due to the “motherhood penalty” or an unconscious bias, employers need to transform how they act in order to reduce the disparity as well as stay ethical.

Since 2017, the tech industry has been required to publish public annual reports regarding pay gaps in their workplace and this has only highlighted a previously buried problem that doesn’t seem to be changing. 

Companies are punished for not publishing their gender pay gap reports, but they aren’t directly punished for the disparity they declare.

Conscious and progressive technology workforces have a long road ahead of them before they can close the gender gap. However, with our 5 simple steps, they can certainly make vital progress and help reduce the gender pay gap in the tech industry.

Step 1: Offer Flexible Working

With the transformational push of the pandemic on workforces, more and more employers across the world are offering flexible working. However, with some technology roles (such as IT support), travelling out to visit customers is currently the norm. This doesn’t always need to be the case. Software such as Remote Monitored Management helps MSPs work remotely whilst still keeping their clients happy. 

Flexible working can help women stick to their hourly commitment, whilst also raising a family (should they choose to) and may also reduce the 50% of women who quit the tech industry by the time they are 35. Remote work can help women achieve a work-life balance, remain a primary caregiver, and still progress through their careers - helping them gain essential experience and score higher-paying managerial roles in the future.  

Step 2: Hire Based on Potential, Not Experience

We’ve all seen it.

Graduate or “entry roles” that ask for years of experience. 

For students who have dedicated their time to education, this is a barrier to entering relevant industries. For female students, this divide can feel even wider. 

Nobody expects tech industries hiring for executive or leadership roles to negotiate on qualifications or experience, but changing how you approach the hiring processes for starter-roles could change the level of diversity of your workforce, and eventually, help reduce the unconscious bias that stems from little to no experience with women in the office.

Hiring based on potential rather than experience will not only help you choose an enthusiastic new recruit but it will also help you see your applicant’s skill set from a new point of view and hopefully reduce the likelihood of women being offered lower starting salaries than their male counterparts... by £3000.  

Step 3: STEM Support in Schools

In 2018, STEM higher education students were divided between 35% female and 65% male. 

From a young age, we’re conditioned that boys are better at science and maths and this might reflect how many women choose to enter the tech industry. 

Tech companies choosing to sponsor University scholarships for women may help reduce the entry barriers and improve the gender pay gap in tech in the long run. Working closely with local schools and sending female ambassadors into math, science, IT, and technology departments to promote the opportunity for women in STEM could transform initial perceptions whilst also giving your female employees a chance to take on extra responsibilities that’d be great for progressing their own career.  

Step 4: Source Role Models and Mentors for Female Employees 

If you’re hiring women in start-up roles but don’t have many in managerial or executive roles, then you may need to change the structure of your company. 

Women with little to no role models to refer to may struggle to advance their careers. Working with other company branches, similar companies, or even retired STEM workers to provide mentorships and role models for your new recruits may make a difference in:

Work productivity

Communication 

Job longevity

If women feel like they have a support system and an employer who cares about their health and wellbeing when microaggressions happen in the workplace, they may feel more capable of staying long-term in a specific job role, rather than looking for options elsewhere. Staying at one workplace rather than moving around a lot will help them work towards promotions, and transform the divide between gender pay gaps. 

Step 5: Be Transparent About Salaries

For any company looking to hire, there’s one big question they need to ask themselves: do we publicize the salary along with the job listing, or not?

Starting salaries that have a range often find women on the lower end of the scale, and men offered the higher-end. Being honest and transparent about your salary, and balancing it on experience rather than gender could make a huge difference in average gender pay gaps in the tech industry. 

Step 6: Use a Diverse Team for Recruitment Processes

Incorporating more women into the decision-making processes for recruitment can help you reduce unconscious bias when offering starting salary rates and choosing who to hire. 

Additionally, outside recruiters will be able to bring a fresh perspective on candidate potential as well as screen applicants to find the right candidate for the job, based on potential as well as experience. Recruiters who are able to confidently negotiate salaries and benefits can improve offerings made to women starting out in new job roles or executive or managerial positions.

NuFuture is an IT & Tech recruitment specialist dedicated to delivering tangible value to everyone we work with. Connect with a member of our team today to find out what we can do for you. Give us a call on 01344 289224 or email info@nufuture.co.uk.

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