It is all too common at the moment to hear about toxic work cultures and the effect of unfair treatment on under-represented professionals, particularly women. According to a recent study highlighting tech companies, it is the sad truth that this is the single biggest driving force behind high staff turnover, with the most unfair treatment being experienced and observed by women.
A 2015 report published in the US by the Center for Women and IT  contains the worrying statistic that 56% of women leave tech companies at their mid-career point, with the majority of them finding a way to use their skills in other professions. It is clear that there is dramatic improvement needed and lessons we can learn from this here in the U.K.
So what are the factors that make an organisation more likely to attract and retain female employees? What should we be looking at beyond the somewhat cliched employee perks, good maternity packages and so on? In this article, we look at feedback from women who work in IT and are happy in their jobs to see if we can learn what their employers are doing differently.
1. Work-life balance
One of the keys to success is recognising that employees, both male and female, have a personal life outside the workplace and deserve to maintain a reasonable lifestyle for themselves and their families. Flexible working hours and the ability to work from home when needed are good places to start, recognising that this must apply equally to any working parents and non-parents too. Really effective planning should go a long way to reduce the frequent need for late night and weekend working to deliver projects on time.
2. Do the right thing
Many companies talk the talk, but do they walk the walk? It is apparent that a significant percentage of firms which appear to be trying to create a fairer, more diverse culture are merely paying lip-service to it. People should not be afraid to ‘interview’ their potential employer and observe the culture while they are looking for a new job. Does the company just talk about the right things to do or actually do them? Being seen as a good place to work by talented people of both genders can only help an organisation attract high calibre resources.
3. Employ more women!
Women tend to agree that the more women a company has on its staff, the better. This is, of course, partly because this means that the culture is already appealing to women, and partly because the more women there are to interact with and work alongside, the more it seems people are valued as individuals within a workplace, their issues are taken seriously by other staff and the more likely everyone will be given credit for their achievements.
We all know that there are many challenges faced by tech firm managers in today’s world of high-speed change and innovation, not least among these being the difficulties in finding and retaining senior digital resources of a good standard. Clifford Associates has the expertise to help you meet this challenge head-on and make the most of the opportunities that this exciting moment in history has to offer your organisation.
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