The tech industry has long struggled to solve its diversity problem, especially when closing the gender gap. In fact, women only make up an estimated 17-20% of the workforce across the tech industry.
Although many enterprises and small businesses have made attempts to address women’s underrepresentation in tech, there are now new problems to face. The current COVID-19 landscape has changed the parameters of progress for women in the tech workplace.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day #ChooseToChallenge addresses the need to challenge these barriers and celebrate the steps made towards equality. So, how do we continue to challenge a chronic lack of representation while facing new and unprecedented crisis-fuelled obstacles?
Despite some progress made across the industry over the past few years, the gender gap remains a pervasive problem. Since 2014 -- when Google, Amazon, Apple, and others committed to releasing annual diversity reports -- there have been few noticeable differences to report when it comes to the equality of women in tech.
In an industry where change happens quickly, increasing the representation of women in the tech industry has been comparatively slow.
Crises tend to magnify existing inequalities and slow down progress -- and COVID-19 is no exception. A McKinsey report found that women are 1.3 times more likely than men to have considered leaving the workforce due to the pandemic crisis. Lower existing wages and the burden of unpaid childcare both compound an existing gender inequality issue. Women are also more likely to have been laid off during the crisis.
Plus, many worry that it may become even harder to level the playing field in remote work environments since they have less access to top management personnel while away from the office.
Reports also show that the weight of childcare, homeschooling, and the increase in unpaid household labor has been carried by women rather than men. However, many women also prefer the increase in flexible working arrangements.
Despite low levels of improvement across the rest of the tech industry, at Netcentric, we’ve made significant progress when it comes to female recruitment. We make gender equality a priority when hiring, and support women to begin their careers in tech roles.
Valeria Manenkova, from Talent Acquisition at Netcentric says, “At Netcentric, we approach recruitment with diversity and inclusion in mind, and create opportunities for our female candidates. One of the initiatives that we are very proud of is our Junior Academy, where we invite candidates with junior-level experience in programming to get trained with us, and later get to work in our multinational projects.”
She adds, “I think it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed in the tech industry considering that the main crowd is still men. At Netcentric, we empower women to be the ambassadors to the external world by motivating women to speak at the virtual and onsite conferences, create blog posts, and take part in workshops.”
And when we hire great women, we retain them. Katrin Weissenborn, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Netcentric says, “I was recently promoted after my female mentor encouraged me to take the next step. And during the process, I felt very supported by the company, something that’s never happened to me before. I feel privileged to work for a company that truly understands the value of a diverse and inclusive workplace. Everyone feels respected and appreciated at Netcentric, no matter their background.”
Our reputation for hiring is reflected in the numbers. Here’s how women are represented in projects, operations, consulting and business roles.
At Netcentric, we’re committed to gender equality and the empowerment of women. We also recognize the impact a diverse and inclusive business environment has on our clients.
As Gerhard Gerner, CEO of Netcentric states: “To run successful projects you need to tackle challenges from different angles and have input from different perspectives. Being so diversified just helps and of course, importantly, it’s a lot more fun. I’m proud to be part of Netcentric, where we always seek differences to make us stronger and more successful at every stage. I am proud to be Netcentric.”
Angela Fabregues, Applied Intelligence Lead at Netcentric, also appreciates how agile Netcentric is, yet still retains its commitment to empowerment. She says, “Working at Netcentric brings you the feeling of constant movement. Nothing stays the same for long. It’s an open environment and welcomes every single employee's point of view that is communicated.”
COVID-19’s impact will need to be baked into any future gender equality initiatives. At Netcentric, we are committed to maintaining the momentum and ensuring that women have access to the same leadership and job opportunities as men.
Christine Hart, Principal Marketing Technology Consultant at Netcentric says, “I thrive on new ideas and welcome challenges to existing ideas. These kinds of things are a product of a diverse workplace - not only a diverse workplace but a safe one where opposing ideas are allowed and invited.”
Recognizing the benefits of wider diversity in the workplace, Christine explains, “Netcentric creates that safe space where diversity thrives. Not just for women, but for all different cultures and backgrounds that my colleagues come from. I have always felt that Netcentric is a place where I can succeed in technology and not be questioned based on my gender or anything else, but the contribution and creativity that I bring to my roles.”
Learn more about Netcentric’s commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion here.