The lack of diversity in the tech sector is something the industry has been aware of and trying to address for a number of years now. While it’s a topic on everyone’s radar, change is still happening slowly.
In the UK, 19% of tech workers are women (TechNation 2021), and 72% of them feel that ‘bro culture’ can be pervasive in their industry.
When women in tech are outnumbered on a daily basis, it’s easy to see why 78% feel they have to work harder than their coworkers to prove their worth. (Trust Radius 2021)
Covid-19 has exacerbated the problems faced by women working in the sector..
According to a recent study by Trust Radius, women in tech were nearly twice as likely as men to have lost their jobs or been furloughed due to the pandemic. Equally, 57% of women in tech felt burned out at work in 2021, compared to 36% of men.
With mentoring and sponsorship being some of the most effective ways to accelerate career development and growth in confidence, it’s a crucial element of supporting women in tech.
With research showing that women are less inclined to self-promote than men, less likely to apply for jobs than men (unless they meet 100% of the criteria), and lack role models in their industries, it’s no wonder having a mentor to support you is highly valuable.
One organisation using mentoring to support women in tech is the world’s largest family-run recruitment company, Reed.
Reed founded their Women in Technology Mentoring Programme in 2019, after being inspired by the PwC ‘Tech She Can Charter’ initiative.
“Hiring for diversity across positions within the tech market is a concern for practically every employer and so as a specialist recruiter in this space it’s an aspect we help clients with on a daily basis.” – Kevin Dainty, founder of the programme
Since then, the programme has expanded to include hundreds of participants across a range of businesses in the tech industry, including Telegraph Media Group and Close Brothers.
In January 2022, which conveniently happens to be National Mentoring Month, Reed is taking the Women in Tech Programme to the next level by partnering with Guider.
Guider is on a mission to power a billion impactful conversations by helping organisations and communities scale their mentoring and coaching initiatives. The platform makes managing mentoring programmes simple, automating the matching process and providing insightful data.
Reed and Guider’s partnership will make mentorship even more accessible to women in the technology sector, with connections forming across the industry.
Fittingly International Women’s Day this year is centred around recognising bias.
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias. (IWD)
There is also a specific focus on the technology industry highlighted on the International Women’s Day website, focused on ‘celebrating digital advancement and championing women forging innovation through technology’.
Guider and Reed are encouraging organisations and individuals to get behind this mission and make a difference in 2022.
Got experience to share? Join and support this fast growing community by giving your time as a mentor. Find out more and register your interest here.
Equally, if you’re a woman in the technology industry and are looking for mentorship, sign up to the programme today.