Last week we talked about “Retention Strategies to Build a Gender Diverse IT Workforce,” a recent Gartner study that had shocking but not surprising results. The research, led by Gartner analysts Debra Logan and Carol Rozwell, revealed that women in technology leave tech jobs at twice the rate of men. In fact, 56% of women leave tech before reaching the midpoint of their careers. What steps can we take to reduce these numbers? Logan and Rozwell have four suggestions that every company should follow to increase their retention – and productivity. We discussed two of these solutions in our previous blog How Do We Stop the Female Flight Risk? Today will be focusing on pay equity and IT department cultures.

A key to increasing the likelihood of a woman staying at a company is making pay equality a corporate priority. Did you know that having a pay gap is actually detrimental to a company’s reputation among both men and women? “87% of women and 50% of men” say that a large gender pay gap “negatively impacts their [opinions about a company].” Committing to equal pay increases the number of women who stay by 113%. In fact, at a company that offers transparent and equal pay structure white women are 135% more likely to stay, black women are 159% more likely, Asian women are 103% more likely, and Latina women are 37% more likely. By offering equal pay, a company could be increasing the retention number of women while simultaneously increasing diversity.  It is proven that a diverse team leads to better ideas and improved technology.

One way to increase pay transparency is by explicitly stating if salary is negotiable. Research shows that if a company is ambiguous on whether or not a salary is negotiable, “men are 45% more likely to negotiate.” A woman does not generally try to obtain a higher salary if it is not clear that they are allowed to do so, while men ask regardless of how pay is presented. This ambiguity could be a contributing factor to the pay gap. SheTek can help with this issue. Although there is not much we can do directly to create gender parity, SheTek provides mentorship and fosters self confidence by ensuring women are tech savvy and can excel in their careers. Knowing that your skills are valuable and unique can help you be less hesitant to negotiate. SheTek also provides a network of supportive women who understand what you are going through because they have been or are in the same position as you.  If you are a woman in technology, do not be afraid to negotiate. It is time to make pay transparent and take an active stand to promote pay equality.

Companies also need to create a welcoming environment that is supportive of women. One of the ways to make women stay with a company and with technology is to make them feel included in planning, development, processes, and decision making.

Research by Harvard Business School in 2017 shows that organizations where leaders demonstrated inclusive behavior, everyone did better. At those companies, 87% of the women felt “free to express views,” and 74% felt that their “ideas are heard and recognized.” That balance creates a more positive attitude through all of the teams.

If the leader does not demonstrate inclusive behaviors, only 46% of women feel free to express their views and only 37% feel that their ideas are heard and recognized. This can lead to women leaving the company, or even leaving the IT field, as well as a negative atmosphere throughout the organization.

These initiatives must be taken. Gender parity in computer science will not occur for another 100 years if things continue to go at this rate. Companies need to be held accountable for their lack of effort in creating a diverse environment of growth for women. We as a society must be held accountable for not providing women in technology with more resources to advance. That is why SheTek exists. SheTek’s purpose and goal is to give women in technology access to an extensive network of highly skilled, knowledgeable women who can be mentors, sponsors, and support systems in their journey in this field. Join the SheTek Community and let’s help each other change the tech industry.