Our Market Report: How to Encourage Women into Tech Roles

How to Encourage Women into Tech Roles_Featured PRF1

The tech industry accounts for around 14% of the entire UK workforce, comprising 4.7 million people. Yet only 26% of those are women. Our recent Tech Salary Survey & Market Report 2023 uncovered similar results, while also revealing certain digital specialisms fare better than others when it comes to diversity in tech.

Here, we share our gender representation findings as well as strategies you can use to support and boost the numbers of women in tech.

Our Women in Tech Survey Results

We surveyed IT professionals in a broad range of tech roles, in addition to drawing from our existing tech talent database. Our results showed:

  • 75% identified as male
  • 22% as female
  • 1% as non-binary
  • 2% didn’t provide a response 

Digging a little deeper, we found the following specialism gender split:

  • Cloud and Infrastructure – 74% male, 13% female, 13% prefer not to say
  • Data Engineering and Analytics – 86% male, 14% female
  • Digital Transformation and Agile Delivery – 63% male, 33% female, 1% non-binary, 3% prefer not to say
  • IT Architecture – 92% male, 8% female
  • Product – 71% male, 24% female, 5% non-binary
  • Software Engineering – 81% male, 17% female, 1% non-binary, 1% prefer not to say
  • Executive Tech Leadership – 82% male, 18% female

While these numbers may seem discouraging, there is a bright spot. Female leaders who participated in the survey are paid on average the same as their male counterparts or in some cases, more.

Another very interesting insight to emerge from our results relates to the desire for remote working. Out of the women who work between 0-2 days a week remotely, 50% said they’d consider a lower salary for a completely remote position. Only 29% of men said the same thing. This difference clearly shows the importance of working remotely for women in tech.

Ways You Can Encourage Gender Diversity in Tech

While the benefits of a diverse workforce are fairly obvious, it also makes good business sense. Recent Garner research uncovered that gender-diverse and inclusive teams outperformed gender-homogeneous, less inclusive teams by 50% on average.

When it comes to encouraging more women into tech roles within your business, you can consider some or all of the following strategies.

  1. Embrace Inclusive Hiring Practices

Attracting women to your open position starts with a deep focus on your recruitment materials. Without knowing it, your job advertisement and description may be inadvertently deterring women from even applying.

First consider the language you use. Academic research shows the use of male or female-associated words can either attract or deter an applicant. In an attempt to up their Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) efforts, Google ran their job descriptions through a bias removal tool, adjusting the words and phrases they used. These changes resulted in an 11% increase in applications from women. You could consider doing the same thing using a similar online tool.

Other studies have shown that women will apply for a job if they feel they meet all the listed requirements in a job ad, while men will apply if they believe they meet around 60%. Reflect on what you choose to list in yours, honing in on the absolute essentials rather than a long list of ‘nice-to-haves’.

Earlier, we alluded to remote working statistics from our survey showing how much women desire flexibility, even at the expense of pay. It’s a savvy move to showcase this benefit within your recruitment materials and if you can, avoid defining limits on the number of office and remote days.  

As for your recruitment panel, try to include a female interviewer. It’s also highly beneficial if you remove gender and other demographic indicators from CVs and cover letters. This can increase the chances of objective assessment, while decreasing the chances unconscious bias creeps in.

  • Set and Hit Your D&I Targets

A recent STEM Women Whitepaper asked female STEM students about the importance of diversity initiatives when considering a future role. Almost 90% said it was either extremely or very important to them.

If you haven’t already invested effort in setting your D&I targets, now is a good time. As you go about this process, think about how you can incorporate your D&I statement within your company value and mission statement, and embed it within your recruitment materials.

Showcase it on your website and professional and social profiles too, and publish your metrics as you hit them (or a reason why you haven’t and what you intend to do to get there).

  • Focus On Your Work Culture

Girls Who Code and Accenture recently performed some analysis on statistics they collated about women in tech. They found that if every company scored high on their measures of an inclusive culture, the annual attrition rate of women in tech would drop by 70%.

Female respondents in the same study rated a ‘non-inclusive company culture’ the number one reason for leaving their tech role (even more alarming, 50% of women in a tech role quit by the age of 35, compared to 20% in other jobs).

What is a ‘non-inclusive culture’? Some women in the survey defined it as a ‘bro-culture’, essentially where men stick with men. Others (50%) were made to feel their tech role wasn’t suited to “people like them”, while another 54% “heard or read inappropriate remarks or comments” about them or women in general.

  • Support, Outreach & Partnerships

The STEM Women Whitepaper asked respondents how companies could attract more women into tech roles. Just over half said by providing a good workplace culture and support.

As support is clearly a vital component in ensuring women are not only attracted to your company, but succeed and stay, consider:

  • Mentoring
  • Coaching and development to help women progress to tech leadership
  • Building relationships with academic institutions to encourage women into tech early on
  • Partnering with non-profits specifically focused on women in tech
  • Return to work programmes

As a company, you can participate in guest lectures, offer high school girls work experience opportunities or sponsor female graduates with a view to a permanent role.

If you don’t already, institute a ‘return to work’ programme targeting mothers re-entering the workforce with a short paid placement. You may also like to look at extending your paternal leave entitlements and paid care leave across all genders.


As you can see, you can play a vital part in encouraging more women into tech, from your hiring decisions to your working conditions. It is a big task and at times, requires professional support. Here at Movement8, we have plenty of expertise in helping our clients attract and retain top female tech talent.

While we specialise in all areas of tech recruitment, including Cloud and Infrastructure, IT Architecture, Data and Analytics, Executive Tech Leadership and Software Engineering recruitment, we can also help you with your D&I efforts. It might be with crafting your job descriptions, helping with interviews or advice about best practices in nurturing a diverse pipeline.

Please feel free to contact one of our Movement8 recruitment specialists to discuss your hiring needs. You can also download a full copy of our Tech Salary Survey & Market Report 2023. It contains a host of interesting insights about what top tech talent wants when it comes to salary, benefits and working conditions.

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