How to Recruit and Empower Female Developers for Your Startup in 2022

For a long time, the tech industry has seen young men's dominance. Over the past two decades, the software engineering industry has exerted significant effort to attract and retain women. Did you realize that the Fortune 500 has just three female technology CEOs? What about the reality that women hold fewer than 5% of all tech leadership positions? The IT industry has to go a long way. 


What are the solutions for hiring and empowering women in technology?

Read on to know more about how to locate and recruit more women in technology. From assisting the next generation to altering startup culture and enhancing the candidate experience, here are some improvements you can adopt to boost the number of women in any organization and keep them there for a longer time.

The following are some of the primary measures that the HR department can implement to employ and empower more women as developers in technology: 

1. Improve candidate experience

 Employing more women is a significant objective, yet it might be challenging to start. As recruiters and HR managers, the best place to begin may be the recruiting process. Theoretically, HR teams have the most influence over this area. Therefore it should be the simplest to alter. IT professionals remark that recruiters and HR teams must do more to engage women and enhance the applicant experience.

 So, how can the candidate experience for women in tech be improved?

 HR managers can implement these four immediate measures to enhance the candidate experience and increase the number of women completing the recruiting process for tech opportunities:

 Focusing on the interview process is crucial to growing women in technology. Here are four ways that businesses may enhance the interview process:


  • Ensure that women are included in every interview process. Try incorporating at least one woman on interview panels. This is particularly crucial when considering female job applicants. Women are far more likely to apply for a job if the company's senior leadership team includes women. In addition, they are more likely to accept an offer if they meet female employees throughout the hiring process. This will lead to a more comprehensive evaluation of interviewers and establish a more diversified business culture.

  • Offer interview preparation. This must contain sorts of questions to ask, relevant information about the position, and evaluation criteria. The organizations must provide this training to every management and employee participating in the interview process.

  • Provide female applicants with more informal opportunities. This might be as straightforward as providing lunch or coffee in the breakroom. The candidate is expected to speak with another woman in a technical function. This allows for a more genuine and open dialogue, which may result in the woman adopting your perspective.

  • Evaluate abilities through a blind evaluation. Eliminate presentations and whiteboard problem-solving in front of a group. Instead, have a group anonymously review the work of candidates. This will aid in the elimination of unconscious and explicit prejudice. 


Recruit and Empower Female Developers


2. Promote policies that favour families

If a firm incorporated policies such as maternity leave and flexible working in job descriptions and on careers websites, women would be more likely to apply for a position.

Discussing family-friendly policies openly throughout the interview shows female candidates that they can grow with the firm and do not have to choose between their job and family.

 Include the following advantages in your pay package:

  • Paid maternity and paternity leave

  • Modular start and end timings

  • Possibility to work from home

  • Parental leave

  • Childcare centres and vouchers

  • Health coverage


 3. Analyse job descriptions

 How a position is described significantly influences the types of applicants. Follow these three basic steps to increase the number of female engineers hired:

  • Replace "ambitious," "aggressive," "hacker," and "competitive" with "adaptable," "hard-working," "motivated," and "creative."

  • Different abilities that are necessary from those that are wanted, and keep the "required" talents to a minimum.

  • Check that your job descriptions are gender-neutral by running them through a sophisticated gender decoder. 


4. Tackle gender prejudice

Gender inequality is perhaps the most challenging component of the hiring process to overcome. Sadly, even the AI tools we deploy to assess candidates may be prejudiced.

 HR personnel may take three things to combat ingrained gender prejudice and enhance the applicant experience:

  • Avoid "affinity bias" — employing persons who share similar interests, attended the same college, etc.

  • In place of motherhood, insert parenting. Ask male workers about their home life, institute paternity leave, and avoid asking women interview questions about their family life. Ask women more questions about the position of female developers they have applied for. Do not forget to discuss your family-friendly HR practices in detail.

  • Create an objective list of what constitutes an "ideal applicant" based on skills and aptitude to avoid choosing individuals based on intuition or because they "fit."


5. Actively seek out female programmers

 Most recruiters do not give women preference throughout the application process, while some travel the extra mile to recruit female tech talent.  Get the best Python interview questions here.

 Consider launching a campaign geared exclusively towards locating and recruiting women or implementing one of the following sourcing rules if you wish to find more female applicants:

  • Attending seminars for women, such as Women in Mobile (Barcelona)

  • Using sites like LinkedIn, GitHub, Stack, and Entelo

  • Collaboration with organizations and projects promoting gender diversity

  • Interacting with more women in tech meet-ups

  • Collaborating with recruiting firms on particular campaigns or positions


Recruit and Empower Female Developers


Change the culture of the startup

 Although the circumstances are on the path to improvement, women working in technology still face salary disparity, preconceived expectations, and sexual harassment. Several women had experienced prejudice in the workplace or while studying computer science at the university level.

 Even if a business has a gender-neutral corporate culture, it's challenging to convince a female candidate to join. Especially if they are one of the few women on the tech team with few family-friendly amenities or if there are wage disparities between men and women.

 The following four easy modifications will make it simpler to locate and hire female tech talent:


1. Make female employees visible

 Women are more likely to accept a job offer from a firm with female leadership. So, if you have a leadership team with an equal number of men and women, shout it from the rooftops! If you don't (yet), you may still take steps to increase the visibility of your female staff.

 Try these pointers to boost the visibility of women in the workplace:

  • Invite women in leadership roles to produce blog entries and articles, organize and publicize events, and participate in in-person interviews.

  • Consider establishing a gender-balanced diversity board and promote their activities on the company's website and social media platforms.

  • Make a concerted effort to ensure marketing materials are gender-balanced (more pictures featuring women and fewer pictures featuring teams indulging in beer drinking activities on the terrace)

  • Promote the upcoming pipeline-building endeavors you are about to undertake. 


2. Reduce the impression of "bro culture"

 The tech industry is renowned for its "work hard, play hard" mentality. Football tables, video game systems, and on-site bars are presumably more tempting to young, childless male employees than their female counterparts. All of these stress-relieving activities reinforce harmful male culture.

Here is how to reduce "bro" culture:

  • Take female employee complaints seriously. Fix flirtatious remarks rather than excusing them with statements like "that's how it is around here."

  • Establish a culture of equality, impartiality, and openness so that it is simpler to hold workers accountable.

  • Use the same descriptors for women and men in performance evaluations, and hold them to the same standards when awarding bonuses and salary raises.

  • Ensure that social activities do not always focus on sports or alcohol, and eliminate the notion that employees must participate or be left behind.

  • Write to former female workers and ask them to be candid about their experiences, why they left, and what they would improve.


3. Prioritize and advertise women-friendly advantages 

If the IT sector wants to attract more women, there are specific features of professions that they must emphasize. Startups must prioritize and actively push family-friendly practices. A woman with children, for instance, may likely desire flexibility and the possibility to work from home.

Immediate initiatives include:

  • Clearly articulating the company's family-friendly policies.

  • Putting them on the employment website and job descriptions.

  • Addressing them openly in interviews.

 And if you do not already provide flexible hours, the option to work part-time or remotely, or equitable maternity and paternity policies, make them a priority in 2022.


4. Demonstrate concern for equitable pay

 If your business already makes concerted efforts to achieve equitable compensation, address it in your diversity statement, publish an annual report outlining your accomplishments, and bring it up in interviews.

These measures will show potential female applicants that you care about the issue and are taking action.


Recruit and Empower Female Developers


Encourage the new generation

Startups must enhance their workplace culture and women's experience. Addressing the gender gap in technology when a female developer seeks a job or submits a CV is insufficient.

Women in IT believe firms must promote female programmers.

Women lack visibility, role models, and knowledge. They missed not just a sense of "belonging" to a tech community but also the practicalities, such as the ability to meet women in the tech field.

These are things startups can change. They can help the next generation of female tech talent immediately by taking the following steps:


1. Establish a mentoring program


Several studies have demonstrated that female developers prefer mentors, yet there are insufficient women accessible to give leadership. There is an opportunity for startups to fill the void.

 Setting up and promoting mentoring programs, and encouraging female employees to join, will not only aid in the development of the future generation of engineers but will also make your firm more attractive to female prospects in the near term.


2. Organise or sponsor an event


An event might be a tech meet-up, speaker panel, or networking drinks. If you can't arrange an event from scratch, try finding one and encouraging women to speak.

More women IT leaders and role models must be present at conferences and universities.

Organizing a networking and marketing event to connect, encourage, and educate female coders is a great idea. Also, organize internal events where female employees may network, invite a speaker, and enhance the female IT community.


3. Support students and underrepresented groups


Access to technology careers is harder for women from minority groups or without a high school degree. Several programs teach underrepresented groups to code. You may help by giving a one-time gift or becoming an ambassador. Supporting underrepresented groups might drive female employees to volunteer or fundraise.

Consider sponsoring a reward for the top female student in a relevant course or a university scholarship for women admitted to programs that might lead to a job in your company's industry.



To conclude 

By assuming responsibility – and more crucially, by taking action – we can take strides toward a tech sector where women have equal representation and desire to enter the profession. And ultimately, we will all be better off for it.


We at OpenGrowth, are committed to keeping you updated with the best content on the latest trendy topics from any major field. Also, both your feedback and suggestions are valuable to us. So, do share them in the comment section below.

A staunch proponent of karma, Mallika believes in what goes around, comes around philosophy. She is ecstatic with her life and strives to live it to the fullest.