Insights / Employers - 8 minutes

How to Support Women in a Tech Workplace

The tech sector, statistically, is predominantly male. But how do employers encourage more women into the sector and provide adequate support in the workplace? In this article, we cover more.

How to Support Women in a Tech Workplace


Tech Talent Engine


The gender imbalance in tech is a well-documented issue in the North East and the data supports this.

According to the Digital Skills Audit (2022), 88% of students or those in training for a digital career identified as male, with just 28% of those in technical roles identifying as female.

While we are seeing changes each year in the sector, we still have a long way to go in terms of closing the gender gap in technology.

Let’s discuss how employers can overcome these barriers, support women in tech and encourage others to pursue digital careers.

1. Pay Analysis

If you’re an employer that is struggling to attract and retain females in your office, then consider looking inside your organisation to see what could be improved.

A pay equity analysis is one way to identify pay gaps within an organisation, based on demographics. These results will help you to understand more about your workplace and the structure of the team.

As for the hiring process, be open about career opportunities, salaries and how employees can progress internally.

Make it clear what systems you have in place to support women, the opportunities available and the timeline of succession. The conversation can resemble something like this.

What are your long-term goals in this company and how can I help facilitate this?

A progress meeting is the best opportunity to ask this question, as it will help you to understand whether an employee wants to stay in their role or has plans to progress.

Taking the time to get to know an employee will keep things transparent, allowing an employee to be completely honest about their aspirations.

2. Leadership Programmes

One factor inhibiting many employees in leadership is a lack of self-esteem.

According to statistics, imposter syndrome affects over 75% of executive women, with many often feeling unqualified for the role or inadequate in comparison to their peers.

Although combatting imposter syndrome is a varied journey, the most important thing employers can do to support more women in the workplace is to hire women leaders.

This helps employees on all levels and provides a role model in the workplace, showing that progress is achievable.

Implementing leadership programmes such as workshops or webinars allows you to provide low-level training to employees with maximum impact.

Do you remember a time when someone believed in you? Help someone else by giving them a chance to upskill, learn and develop.

Doing so will have several benefits, including raising self-esteem, promoting teamwork, and encouraging cooperation.

3. No Tolerance for Harassment

A strong policy against harassment and bullying in the workplace should always be paramount.

However, many employers struggle to implement this type of strategy or know where to start. Don’t worry – you’re not alone.

While it’s not always easy to point out these types of people in interviews, consider doing a background check on every person that enters your organisation - this can include conducting a DBS check.

Every complaint should be taken seriously, whether someone made a derogatory comment or made someone feel uncomfortable. In these circumstances, employees with more responsibility or experience should not be excused against this rule, as well as new employees.

It’s not about creating a strict environment, it’s about creating a no-tolerance policy for discrimination, sexism and bullying in the workplace.

4. Paid Leave Policies & Maternity Leave

Returning to the workplace after maternity leave is a daunting process for many employees. But what can employers do to support women returning from maternity leave?

Firstly, be compassionate and empathetic, ensuring you make the process as relaxed as possible. This includes avoiding mentioning how busy you have been without them there. Saying so will only exaggerate the workload they have on their plate.

Consider any social events and work activities you have planned and make sure they are inclusive of those with child commitments.

Below are a few ways to show you care:

  • Regular check-ins and meetings to monitor energy levels, stress, and well-being.
  • Start a mentorship programme to further provide support.
  • Flexible working options to cater for hospital visits and extra appointments.
  • Consider staged return options such as 3 days a week to ease them back into work.

5. Creating a Safe Space

The foundation of any great workplace is the freedom to be yourself.

Fostering a great work culture means a commitment to diversity and inclusion, ensuring everyone that enters your workplace feels like a valued member of the team.

Consider giving employees a safe place to talk about things without fear of being judged. This can involve assigning a personal mentor for each employee. It’s often better to assign someone from a different team so that they don’t feel as involved or pressured.

Opencast is a great example of a company that cares about its employees. Each employee has access to pastoral support, ensuring welfare is prioritised.

Closing the Gender Gap

The future of technology relies on attracting the best talent, regardless of age, gender, or race.

As a community, we can do more to bridge the gender gap in tech. It’s time for us to recognise the need for more diversity and inclusion in the tech sector and encourage more females to pursue careers in tech.

Whether actively working to create more opportunities for women to thrive in tech roles, challenging workplaces and encouraging the conversation around digital careers, the tech sector relies on women.

If you have an interest in tech and would like to know more about the opportunities available, simply register and sign up to Tech Talent Engine to access live vacancies in the North East, support and extra insights.

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