Amsterdam,
11
April
2019
|
10:58
Europe/Amsterdam

Nearly Half of Australian Women in Tech say The Industry is Not Prioritising Diversity

  • Findings suggest the Australian and global tech industries are not doing enough to retain years of knowledge that experienced, skilled women bring to the tech industry
  • Only 55% of women in tech feel their company is prioritising gender diversity, despite economic pressures
  • Almost 3 in 5 women (58%) returning to the tech industry after a career break feel less valued
  • Greater development opportunities such as training and ‘returnships’ identified by women in tech as key to retaining top female talent

Sydney, Australia, 21st March 2019 – According to global research from Booking.com, one of the world’s largest travel commerce companies and a digital technology leader, only half (51%) of Australian women currently working in tech globally feel that the tech industry today is prioritising gender diversity. Slightly more women currently in the field (55%) feel that their company is prioritising diversity efforts. While initiatives to close the gender gap and encourage more women into tech are having some success, tech companies and the industry need to demonstrate greater commitment to nurturing female talent if they are to maintain a representative and skilled workforce and benefit culturally, financially and boost their reputation.

Women see opportunities to drive real business benefits and fuel positive, industry-wide change

The latest World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report1 found that there is a widening inequality gap worldwide, despite the strong contributions being made by women across all aspects of business. When asked about the benefits that increased gender diversity can bring to the tech industry, 92% of women in tech – and those students interested in pursuing a tech career – said they would help diversify the sector, bringing fresh perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. Women also increasingly feel their representation in the tech workforce will contribute to improved company and brand reputation (91%), as well as trust in tech companies in general (85%).

“Driving greater gender diversity in tech is as much about unearthing untapped talent as it is about supporting women who have already built the skills, knowledge and expertise in our sector, said Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com. “Over the last ten years there have been significant changes to drive positive progress towards making the tech industry a more gender diverse place to work. We need to make sure that we continue this momentum.”

Tapping into the value that women returning to tech can bring

Currently, more than three in five female re-entrants to tech – or those who have taken a break and returned to the industry (64%) – view taking a career break as detrimental to their individual progression, and 63% believe the industry needs to actively do more to support their re-entry to the field.

However, a rise in ‘returnships’, or re-entry schemes is raising hopes, with 64% of women returning to tech believing that such programs – often focused on training, re-skilling, upskilling and mentorships – are key to overcoming re-entry challenges. More than a third of those who have returned to the field consider regular upskilling opportunities to be essential to their success in tech (36%).

Encouragingly, these programs are empowering women with the skills and support they need to progress. In fact, 61% of re-entrants say they had access to a mentor upon their return to work - something women in tech identified as essential to their career success. 63% also say their company helped them update their technical or other skills following a return.

“At Booking.com, we have long believed in investing in mentoring and recognition programs that support the continued development of women in tech - such as our scholarships program and the Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards,” said Tans. “Women bring tremendous value that can positively impact both tech companies and the industry globally and should be part of proactive initiatives focused on inclusivity, retention and skills development.”

1 - https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-gender-gap-report-2018

2 - https://www.pwc.co.uk/economic-services/WIWI/women-in-work-index-2018.pdf