How Gender Inclusive is your Company?

3 Tell Tale Signs of Unintentional Gender Bias

Rose McCarter-Field

By Rose McCarter-Field

In a sector where women are underrepresented, it’s no secret that exclusion has hindered gender equality in tech. A lack of female applicants and increasing numbers of women leaving tech has contributed to the staff shortages that we see today. 

Research has shown a disconnect between leadership awareness of gender biases, and women’s experiences in the workplace. But as a leader, how do you know if your company is excluding women? Here are 3 tell tale signs that your company culture is excluding women, even if you don’t realise it.

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How many women are on your leadership team?

Next time you’re in a leadership meeting or a board meeting, count the number of women vs men in the room. Do your female staff or job applicants have females to look up to? to aspire to? to admire? Can they see career progression opportunities in your company?

2

How many women are coming back after maternity leave?

If the answer is not many, perhaps it’s time to take a look at your HR policies. If someone is away for a while, will they come back to find themselves on catch-up? To find their counterparts up-skilled and promoted? Are you providing a structured system to enable them to fill any skills gaps? To catch up on training or experiences they have missed? Even promotion opportunities? And do your working practices support a reasonable work/life balance for new parents?

3

How many women are putting themselves forward for promotion?

Research has shown that if a staff member puts themselves forward for promotion, a female counterpart is less likely to put themselves forward for the same promotion. Additionally, internal referral systems for promotion allow for unintentional bias in the workplace. Favouring ‘people like me’ is an easy trap for any manager to fall into and is a sure way to prevent diversity in the leadership team.

If the above signs are present in your organisation, it’s worth having a look at the reason for this. We are holding a webinar on women in technology, it covers everything from recruitment, to retention, and promotion. If you’d like to attend you can sign up here.