How about some hard facts?

We created an infographic to visualize some important factors when trying to improve the gender balance in tech.

  • Did you know that 4.6% of the Belgian workforce work in IT? And off all the people working in IT, only 18,2% are women.

    If we apply that percentage to the entire workforce, this would boil down to less than 1% (0.84%) of the workforce are women working in IT.

  • Women will only apply to jobs where they meet (nearly) 100% of the requirements listed.
  • Research has shown that women are most likely to leave the IT sector before the age of 35 (and double the rate of men) for a mix of reasons.

    Contrary to popular belief, the majority of these women arenโ€™t leaving the industry to start a family. They are being pushed out by biased management practices.

    • They are perceived as more junior than their male counterparts. Which likely will be possible to trace back to the fact as to why women only apply after meeting nearly 100% of the requirements
    • Hearing or reading inapropriate remarks or comments
    • Made to feel that the job is not for "people like them"
    • Unlikely to advance in career

    If we add other factors into the mix such as etnicity, culture, religion, socio-economic background, disabilities... studies show that women from any of these intersectionalities face more bias than their male counterparts and are even more underprivileged. Meaning they have far less opportunities within their reach.

Tips to hire more inclusively

A note before we start:
You cannot be 100% inclusive. When trying to be as inclusive as can be, there will still be people you are excluding. And keep in mind that focussing on reaching gender parity isn't enough and isn't really inclusion.

  1. Fostering a more inclusive culture in your company requires continous effort. It cannot be achieved overnight and an influx or outflux can shift your company culture. Be intentional in your efforts and involve everyone in the company.
  2. Start as early as you possibly can by implementing and fostering an inclusive culture. The bigger your company wil grow, the harder it will be to make changes.
  3. Keep yourself and your employees accountable, own up to your mistakes. We all make them while learning to do better.
  4. Create a safe environment open to discuss sensitive subjects.
  5. Weed out people who refuse to make an effort for the better. In the long run they will do your company more harm than good and prevent change/growth.
  6. Be open and upfront about the wages you're offering for a specific role and seniority.
  7. Think about the the language you use and the incentives you're offering. Especially in job listings and on your team page(s), as well as during introductions and interviews.
  8. Besides the used language and incentives, ask yourself if the requirements you listed for a specific job listing, if they are realistic and really necessary.
    A few examples:
    • For the job you are listing, is a degree more important than experience and motivation?
    • Does the amount of knowledge you are expecting align with the seniority of this role?

If you are interested in learning more about DE&I, we have comprised a list of reading materials and resources that can further help you foster an inclusive culture at your company.

Solidarity photo created by freepik

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  • Sharing your job listings with 1000+ Belgium-based women who code
  • Reaching out to a very niche group that no other platform in Belgium is offering
  • Supporting the growth of our members with opportunities which allow them to level up in their career
  • Part of a group willing to be more inclusive and strive for diversity in tech
  • Helping our community deliver more value to its members.