Tag: Gender bias

Only 42% of tech companies offer training and development

Female employees have gained ground in the workplace, however large skill gaps still exist when it comes to opportunities for professional development and career advancement. This, according to findings released by Skillsoft in its 2021 Women in Tech Report.

The report revealed a misalignment between the workplace benefits women in tech are seeking and what is currently being provided. For example, while 86% of respondents cited that opportunities for professional development and training as extremely or very important to them, a mere 42% said their employers currently offer this as a benefit. Additionally, when asked about the top challenges they have faced while pursuing a tech-related career, nearly a third of women surveyed (32%) pointed to a lack of training.

Potoula Chresomales, SVP, Product Management at Skillsoft commented: “Organisations around the globe are looking for ways to address their skills gaps, and in many cases, the answer lies within via their existing workforce. Women make up less than 40% of the global workforce, and for that number to increase, female employees must be empowered with continuous training, professional development, and career advancement, as well as equal pay. The time is now for organisations to tackle gender disparity head-on. By doing so, we can build more inclusive, equitable, and competitive businesses.”

Skillsoft’s 2021 Women in Tech Report highlights a few ways organisations can better empower female employees. Here they are:

Provide and encourage opportunities for certification

  • When asked how certifications have helped advance their careers, respondents reported gaining more responsibility (52%), earning higher salaries (34%), and receiving promotions (32%), among other benefits.
  • Despite business analysis and cybersecurity being identified as leading areas of interest, just 22 percent and 18 percent of respondents, respectively, hold corresponding certifications. 19 percent report holding no certifications at all.

Make an effort to reduce gender bias in STEM

  • 70 percent of women surveyed reported that men outnumber them in the workplace at ratios of two-to-one or greater.
  • The highest percentage of men in leadership roles have 15 to 20 years of experience versus 26 or more years for women.
  • To encourage more women to pursue tech-related careers, respondents said organisations should provide opportunities for professional development and training (55%), childcare (47%), career coaching, mentoring, and counselling (43%), and an equitable work culture (41%).

Alleviate the unique on-the-job challenges women face

  • More than a third of respondents list their biggest challenge as a lack of equity in pay. This is followed by balancing work and life (36%) and a lack of equity in opportunities (33%).

Ensure training is timely and topical

  • When selecting a training provider, women in tech seek scheduling capabilities (34%), relevant course availability (32%), and opportunities for hands-on practice (32%).
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Female board members earn almost half of male counterparts

Research published by New Street Consulting Group revealed that female board members at some of the UK’s largest companies are paid around 40% less than men in the same roles.

While equal pay has been in sharp focus over the last few years, data revealed that the gender pay gap is the widest in the c-suite of corporate Britain. On average, women earned £104,800 for non-executive roles at FTSE 100 companies last year, compared with an average of £170,400 paid to men. For executive board members, average pay was £2.5m for men and £1.5m for women.

In the broader market, women were paid 15.5% less than men, according to 2020 data from the Office for National Statistics.

Darren Hockley, Managing Director at DeltaNet International commented: Despite discussions of the gender pay gap over recent years, and the introduction of gender pay gap reporting, it’s clear that FTSE 100 organisations are still not doing enough to tackle the issue – especially when there’s a 40% difference.  The fact is that unconscious bias remains, and organisations must tackle diversity and equality issues by supporting staff with training. HR must work more closely with executive teams to address equal and fair pay to stamp out social injustice.

“Pay equality responsibility does not just lie with HR; it requires support from everyone in the organisation in order to be addressed. So, more executives need to step up and become an ally for their female colleagues. If they are aware of injustice, then they need to speak up and support their female colleagues to get paid what they deserve.”

40% club

The Financial Conduct Authority recently suggested that UK companies should ensure that at least 40% of board level roles and a minimum of one senior executive role are held by women.

New Street Consulting Director Claire Carter, said “Focusing solely on the percentages of directors that are women is not enough when trying to approach equality.”

The government-backed review of board diversity, the Hampton-Alexander review found that, across the FTSE 350, women now held its 2020 target of an average of 33% board roles. But 130 businesses fell short of this target. Senior board roles remained male dominated, with just 14% of executive directorships held by women. Just 17 chief executives across the FTSE 350 are women.

Most businesses are doing their best to ensure they’re no longer a ‘boys club’ even if the reality of their demographics didn’t live up to aspirations, said Carter.

“The key to doing that will be ensuring that women have more executive responsibilities and are trained and prepared properly for taking on that responsibility,” she said. “It will be a case of their examining whether there are any barriers that are preventing females from reaching the very top at their organisation.”

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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