Our position in the US Education market gives us a very unique opportunity to use our knowledge to influence young people across the country. We believe that we can only address the gender skills gap in technology once we have more girls inspired to choose a career in that industry, so we think this begins at school.
We want to cast stereotypes aside and encourage young girls and boys alike to both see how meaningful a career in tech can be. That’s why we’ve partnered up with PwC to work together to increase the number of women working in technology roles. It aims to tackle the root cause of the problem by inspiring and educating young girls and women to get into tech careers and sharing best practice across the organizations involved.
The current landscape is bleak, only 27% of female students surveyed by PwC would consider a career in technology, and only 16% of female students had technology suggested to them as a potential career from their school.
We’ll be pledging our commitment by talking to school children about their career choices; highlighting the opportunities that are available to them by picking a career in tech. We’ll also be celebrating our own female role models from Smoothwall, and sharing resources and best practices to help spread this important message.
Women only hold 26% of all tech jobs in the US. Research shows the most popular reasons for the gender gap are the negative stereotypes that cast doubt in a woman’s ability to perform and that there is a lack of female role models in technology – with just 5% of leadership positions in the technology industry held by women.
Smoothwall are proud to be signatories of The Tech Talent Charter, which encourages organizations to address gender disparity in several ways. These include building attraction, recruitment and retention practices that are designed to increase the diversity of the workforce; defining a strategy and timetable for change, along with measuring the current diversity of the organization.
Smoothwall have pledged to provide data on our current diversity and the gender pay gap, and we are constantly working to improve the diversity of our workforce. We are doing this through ensuring, where appropriate, that a woman is always considered for a role, and that our interview process is fair and open to women. This includes having a diverse interview panel and coaching our staff on how to avoid discrimination. We are also constantly working towards introducing better benefits for all our employees that give equal opportunities to enjoy a work / life balance, especially for parents.
We’re aware that attracting great women into roles is only half the battle, and that to retain them we have to continue to offer support, and provide fair and equal opportunities for progression.
We have a strong network of women at Smoothwall who have set up their own LeanIn circle. LeanIn.org is a nonprofit organization committed to offering women the ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals. By providing an active and supportive community, women can exchange ideas and share their stories as they intend to inspire, teach and connect.
The LeanIn circle take great pride in recognizing the difference between masculine and feminine traits, and meet regularly to discuss how to address issues in the workplace such as managing difficult conversations and managing your own inner critic.
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