Closing the Gender Gap in Tech: Strategies for a More Inclusive Workforce
Hiring Trends

Closing the Gender Gap in Tech: Strategies for a More Inclusive Workforce

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Kristin Elliott
March 13, 2024

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Financial Times has reported that the US is seeing increased numbers of women working in computer tech fields. From a 2012 low of 30%, women in 2023 comprised nearly 35% of the technology workforce. 

While this is good news, there is still a way to go in attaining a technology workforce that’s representative of society at large.

How Can Companies Address the Gender Gap?

In 2019, HP introduced its Career Reboot program to the US. The goal of the program is to offer returnship opportunities to those who have left the workforce for a time, often women. With a career reboot, participants are reskilled and upskilled to get them current on the latest technology trends and best practices. Acknowledging the knowledge and training acquired before a career break is not only a great way to shrink a gender gap but also address a skills gap.

Additional measures that have proven successful in attracting and retaining female talent are schedule flexibility, and better maternal and family leave benefits. In the UK, Vodaphone took a rather inventive step by reassessing the language used in their job postings and using more gender-neutral wording, like replacing “aggressive” with “bold” when describing their goals. The simple change saw a 7% increase in females recruited to apply over a three-month test.

Another effective step in increasing the number of women receiving tech job offers is making interviewers aware of unconscious bias and how it may affect their decisions. HP UK began not only training their employees on bias, but was a signatory on the landmark Tech Talent Charter (TTC) Diversity in Tech report. Now in its sixth year, the TTC report has noted gains in diversifying the tech workforce in the UK. Significantly, the most recent report noted that 29% of the UK Tech workforce is now comprised of women and nonbinary employees. 

“What gets measured, gets done,” asserts George Brasher, SVP and COO of HP Print. “It’s only by measuring and reassessing that we can continue to improve our record, and reinvent the standard for diversity and inclusion.”

Leveraging AI to Improve Fairness & Equity

“We know that humans can't be completely unbiased in how they perceive a candidate, but technology itself can provide support.” says Dr. Emily Campion, PhD, Assistant Professor of Management at Tippie School of Business, University of Iowa, and an advisor to Talent Select AI.

Talent Select AI solves this problem by building on decades of established IO science to develop the first conversational interview assessment. Our patent-pending ethical, white-box AI analyzes the specific words candidates use during the job interview – not their facial expressions, tone, inflection, accent, or grammar – to accurately and fairly measure job-related motivations, traits, and competencies. 

“The traits, competencies, and motivations we are measuring should not show notable demographic subgroup differences because they are capturing concepts that most individuals have had the opportunity to develop through school, work, or life experiences,” Campion explains. “Focusing on measuring competencies and motivations using validated models that score all candidates consistently, like the ones used by Talent Select AI, is valuable in reducing opportunities for human bias to impact the hiring process.”

Having more diversity behind the scenes in technology can only improve the diverse quality of the output, especially with AI becoming more and more common. “If you don't have a diverse pool of people thinking about the problems in our world, you will end up with a sort of narrow, silo-like mentality about what problems should be solved and what kind of solutions would be effective,” says Athene Margaret Donald, professor emerita of experimental physics at the University of Cambridge. “We need diverse teams, we really do. Whatever problems the world is facing… having the full talent pool coming together from all our different perspectives is really important.”

We couldn’t agree more. 

“At Talent Select AI, we are committed to making diversity, equity, and inclusion more achievable by helping companies evaluate candidates based on the specific competencies, traits, and motivations that are needed for success,” explains Chief Operations Officer Heather Thomas, who spent more than two decades in recruiting before joining the Talent Select AI leadership team. 

“By taking a competency-based hiring approach with our IO-validated platform, companies can circumvent a lot of the human bias that has historically plagued hiring and ensure they are selecting the candidates with the best possible chance of long-term success.”

Is diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority for your organization this year? 

Let’s talk about how Talent Select AI can help you achieve your hiring goals while fostering a more open and inclusive workplace. 

Request a 1:1 solution overview to get started.

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