My work with various Government think tanks, tech start-ups, organisations and the Government's own Digital Services is where I advocate for the step-change to enable inclusivity in tech. These include activities where I provide training / workshops / presentations / other things to get people talking and the attention and buy-in of senior management.
While there's an acknowledgement of 'the problem', and my work goes some way to reframe the labelling of 'women in tech' at the heart of the 'the problem', professionals, industry and policy continue to restrict how to implement change.
So if you are recruiting into a tech role and you want to be 'inclusive', what can you do? Well, there is a lot, and this post will take you through some of the changes needed.
Textio is an online tool that analyses job descriptions (US-based) and suggests improvements to make the language more appealing to all applicants.
Similarly, Gender Decoder for Job Ads highlights gendered wording. It identifies if a post is masculine- or feminine-coded < again, we are dealing with broad brush strokes here, but useful to 'have the conversation' that gender bias in language and role descriptions exist.
Depending on how your organisation works with recruitment (internal and external) - a summary of strategies that have been effective include:
Alongside the tech industry, I am going through a similar process of recruitment to three new positions to a three-year tech project. In this process, my hands are tied (a lot) by formal HR methods. For example, I can tweak the job description template, but this needs senior management approval. I cannot change the layout of the template. And, what I want to do is change some of the language used: switch 'ideal candidate' to 'ideally suited to'. I'd then like to go straight into how the roles will help develop the skills of the individual before the role responsibilities - in effect, reversing the layout of the current job template.
I am continuing to think about new ways to support an inclusive recruitment process, some of these are easy-to-change things, others require buy-in from management and change how we think about recruitment.
All do-able. These take time and the right people to 'say yes'. There's a lot of material out there - which is good!