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How to increase diversity within the technology sphere

 

Jessica Figueras, vice-chair at the UK Cyber Security Council, recently spoke about promoting diversity in tech, and encouraging cyber professionals of the future. 

It comes as no surprise to highlight the lack of women within the technology sphere, with talk for years on increasing the volume of women with tech jobs, Jessica Figueras spoke candidly on tactics to promote if you really want to make tech a more inclusive industry. 

Firstly, she spoke about the impact of going into schools to talk to pupils about working within tech, and how the next generation needs to see diverse role models to inspire them and make them feel confident to enter the field. When women in the tech sphere gain powerful positions and have access to a large audience to connect to, it normalises the profession to younger audiences. Moreover, Jessica also speaks about the perception of tech, and how it has been stereotyped as coding, which can put young people off from researching the industry and the jobs within it. One of the benefits of speaking about tech is that you can highlight the breadth of jobs within the industry, and someone who is listening may find one of those jobs suits them, and will research it and potentially enter the field. Furthermore, by highlighting the wide range of skills needed within these jobs, they may realise there is a whole new area of jobs they are suitable for. This is an easy way to introduce a more diverse field of candidates into the world of technology.

But what about now? How can we persuade a diverse field of candidates who are ready to work at this moment that they may be suited to the technological industry? The gender pay gap has become a prominent factor which puts individuals off,  shown with Jessica highlighting the inequity around pay in tech, and how it is common that women are paid less than men for the same job. Figueras said an easy way to overcome this is for companies to incorporate transparent and objective frameworks around pay and career development, they would succeed better with gender balance.

Moreover, Jessica also placed importance on the stages of hiring and recruitment. A job seeker portal named ‘SheJobs’ was established, aiming to create an equal space in global employment opportunities. Shejobs strive to eliminate bias and inequality in the job market. SheJobs is a clear way to ensure that employers who say they truly care about inclusivity have the chance to prove it. 

Read the full interview with Jessica Figueras here .

 

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