Although companies want more women in technology, female technologists are struggling to get hired.
Yet greater transparency and better job descriptions could help resolve that disconnect, according to speakers at a Phaidon International and Girls in Tech London-hosted event – The War for Talent and What Women Want – at LinkedIn’s London offices.
Lauren Wright, head of global business expansion for online company review firm Glassdoor, told the 80-strong audience workplace transparency could help boost the number of female applicants.
For example, if they knew they would be paid the same as another person doing the same job, they were more likely to apply.
Vanessa Vallely, founder of women’s network, job board and website WeAreTheCity, said women were not being enticed to apply in the right way.
This can come down to how a job description is worded, which she says can often be with underlying masculine language such as ‘you will be…’.
She said a couple of banks, which she did not name, have developed a process whereby any job description is passed through a female focus group, which softens the language used.
Tessa Atkins, industry manager at Google, urged companies and recruiters to make it clear in an advert precisely what the job is.
“I am often surprised when I see the job descriptions for posts... because so often it doesn’t really say what the job is,” she told the audience.
“I think what stops women from applying is that they look at it and they can’t make a judgement call of whether or not they can do the job, and that’s very important for women.
“So I would urge, if you are writing job descriptions, make sure they are good, make sure they excite people and make sure they tell them what the job is.”
She added recruiters also needed to put forward more women’s CVs, and that companies needed to push for this if it was not being delivered.
“And if they [the recruiter] can’t get the CVs, you know you’ve got a problem – you’re either not fishing where the fish are or where you’re fishing, your bait is just not juicy… it’s just so lazy to say there’s just no women out there because that’s just simply not true.”
Other speakers were Hewlett Packard director Donna Herdsman and Sinead MacManus, chief executive and co-founder of Fluency, a digital skills start-up getting young people in need into jobs.
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