Keeping young women engaged and interested in careers in technology isn’t something that can begin in the workplace, according to Lynn Collier, COO UK&I of Hitachi Vantara.
Discussing how to attract and retain more women in technology, this International Women’s Day, Collier said “visibility is crucial” to future generations from an early age.
“Encouraging women to follow technology career paths often feels like an uphill struggle, with tech companies and recruiters alike left scratching their heads over why so few women opt to work in technology and science roles or indeed industries.”
She noted that recent research published by Stanford University points to a “chilly” atmosphere at many tech companies that “discourages women from pursuing a career in the field.”
She added: “Certainly, preconceptions of a job are key to incentivising any potential employees to apply and it’s important that the tech industry is not perceived as giving women the cold shoulder. Likewise, promoting a nurturing and comfortable work environment for all employees is crucial for diversity to flourish and businesses to reap the benefits of this. Many studies clearly identify that a diverse workplace increases productivity, profitability and innovation.”
“Importantly though, keeping young women engaged and interested in careers in technology isn’t something that can begin in the workplace – it’s about breaking-down misconceptions early and educating women about what a career in tech, or using tech, might entail.”
“Women in positions of leadership within technology companies of all sizes need to shout about their achievements, position themselves as thought leaders within the industry and inspire their peers and the future generations of women to seek opportunities in tech and working with tech. Too often, discussion panels, keynote speeches and big tech events are still devoid of female representatives – we must drive change to reflect the rich diversity of our communities and customers and tap into a creative, energetic and enthusiastic well of talent waiting to be discovered,” she added.