3 Ways to Empower Women in Tech Through Training

11 Juli 2023 | Diversity & Inclusion | 5 min read

While strides have been made in tackling the pervasive gender disparities within the tech industry, women still encounter significant obstacles, particularly in terms of professional advancement and career evolution.

Read Next: 7 Ways the Tech Industry Can Help Close the Gender Gap

As the technology landscape continues to evolve, advancement opportunities still leave women disproportionately behind. Gender imbalances and inequalities do not just affect women’s careers – there are significant organizational repercussions, especially with recruitment and retention of high performing women.

According to Skillsoft’s latest Women in Tech Report, 45% of women technologists report being outnumbered by men at ratios of four-to-one or greater — an increase in recent years. If the already present disparity isn’t enough for concern, nearly 60% of women plan to leave their current job within two years, according to The Many Shades of the PinkPandemic 360 Report.

I discussed issues like these in a recent fireside chat with best-selling author Carrie Goetz. We talked about the critical need to address gender inequities in tech; how to future-proof company strategy with skills development; and create a robust learning program. Want to watch the full chat? Click here to watch on demand.

Keep reading to read the highlights of our chat.

The Time to Address Gender Inequities Is Now

Organizations must proactively identify and address gender inequities head-on — or continue suffering the negative effects of increased attrition and women exiting at critical junctures in their careers.

Data can be a powerful tool to uncover areas of gender inequity and point out opportunities for further exploration. Quantitative and quantitative information gathering should inform strategies to ensure opportunities and access are available to everyone in the organization, not just a few. To the extent that there are skills gaps, implementing a thoughtful and deliberate program that provide avenues for employees to close skill gaps can enhance career mobility and facilitate pathways for employees to seek out challenging roles – and flourish in them.

According to Skillsoft’s IT Skills and Salary Report, 66% of IT decision-makers reported skills gaps worldwide. Skills gaps remain a pressing issue for organizations -- as the need for new and emerging skills evolves, skill gaps can increase stress on employees, impair team productivity, increase burnout, and expose organizations to business and operational risk. (Dive into the data more here.)

In addition to existing noted skills gaps, a record number of women exited the workforce during the pandemic years. Offering constructive opportunities that allow women re-entering the workforce to personalize their learning journey in a way that benefits both themselves, and the companies they join, can unlock the full potential of what they can offer to a team, and to an organization.

From my chat with Carrie, here are three ways that organizations can support women in tech:

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Provide Sponsorship and Mentorship to Invest in the Future

One of the key challenges women in tech often face is the absence of sponsorship and mentorship. Sponsors and mentors are critical to providing the type of guidance and advice that will help them advance in their careers, especially to senior levels in an organization. The Women in Tech Report shares 82% of technologists say that offering mentoring and coaching as a company benefit is very or extremely important to them.

Companies should create programs and processes to facilitate mentorship and sponsorship, both formal and informal, to support the development and growth of women.

By doing so, you’re investing in the future of the company. You’re pairing junior-level employees with more senior employees to transfer knowledge and experience, and providing avenues to senior leadership for high-potential employees who can benefit from exposure to key decision makers and career-enhancing opportunities.

Use Metrics to Reveal Inequities and Root Out Bias

Companies need to collect and analyze metrics to identify and address gender inequities. Looking at the data can help reveal discrepancies between policy and practice — and then provide a clear pathway for reconciliation and advancement.

If problem areas are left unchecked, organizations will likely continue facing the effects of gender inequity, and cycles of high attrition. Most often, women in tech leave their jobs because they aren’t getting enough opportunities to make a greater impact; pay inequity; or insufficient training and development.

After crunching the numbers, leaders must act to create fair policies and practices that ensure women are treated equally. Organizations should proactively identify and directly address issues (like unconscious bias) to create more equitable, inclusive workplaces.

Read Next: Inequity in Tech: The Industry Loses Without Women

Provide Access to Personalized Learning Opportunities

To empower women in their careers, organizations must provide flexible, relevant, and career-oriented learning opportunities.

Now more than ever, it's important to recognize that not everyone follows the same career path or trajectory. Post-pandemic, many people are rethinking what they want out of their careers, and how they can equip themselves to maximize the opportunity set available to them.

Offering a variety of learning options, including video, instructor-led, and interactive learning experiences can empower and prepare women for new and exciting opportunities. In addition, offering these types of learning options will help women “future-proof” their careers by facilitating access to tools that will accelerate learning and mastery of cutting-edge technical skills that reflect both current and emerging skill needs.

Empower Women in Tech Through Learning

Organizations stand to gain a great deal by investing in skills development on their teams. Providing opportunities for women to learn, apply, and master technical skills can only benefit organizations who are seeking to fully develop internal talent and unleash the power of their talent. A rising tide lifts all boats, and providing systematic organization-wide learning opportunities that empower technical skills

Carrie and I chat at length about these challenges and offer more ways to remedy the problems that so many companies face. Catch my entire discussion with Carrie online now:

To go deeper into the data shared in this blog and understand the importance of closing the gender gap in tech, download Skillsoft’s Women in Tech Report today. It’s the result of an in-depth study of 600+ technologists who share their experiences working in the industry. Read it today.