The IT sector isn’t doing great when it comes to equality. You’ll read and hear about this everywhere if you’re involved in the scene. Our presence is meagre, to say the least: Only 10% of people who work in IT are female. The reasons why this is are widely spread. It starts at a young age. At high schools women are often discouraged to take up subjects that are more ‘’manly’’. This might also be the reason why in the Netherlands there is an extremely low amount of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) programs. Most IT departments have almost no diversity, which makes it an unattractive branche for minorities as well. You could just end up being the only one there, surrounded by a room full of white males. Then there’s also the high pressure on IT teams. Due to the shortage in staff and endless working hours. The emergency prone industry makes it impossible not to require women to be available during weekends or for consignment services. Even pregnant women aren’t safe from consignment services: The collective labour agreements do not mention any exceptions for those who are pregnant.
Why should companies want to attract more women into IT departments?
Because it affects turnover. Research shows that homogenous offices end up with 44% less turnover than offices that have a very diverse workforce. The reason why? Because there is less time spent on socialising! People tend to be attracted to those who have a similar profile. When women and minorities are added to the workforce, the composition changes and there will be less time for chatting during working hours. This also explains why there is less diversity in sexuality and cultural backgrounds, next to gender, even though diversity is positively linked to growth. A forerunner of this way of working is IBM. For decades they have implemented special task forces whose only job it is to create an equal workforce. Diversity is one of their key competencies, unlike most companies who are lagging behind. But what does your company do to enable more equality in IT?
Diversity? A no-brainer!
For Young Coders the topic of diversity in the IT has been a no-brainer. Something had to happen. And that’s why Young Coders established the High Tech Tea. The High Tech Tea was invented to connect successful women in tech and to inspire an upcoming generation of women in tech. Women represent less than 10% of IT specialists in the Netherlands, which leaves the IT branche heavily unbalanced and in need of more diversity. Therefore it is important for them to give women in this branche a platform, so that the notion that IT is only for men becomes obsolete. The High Tech Tea tries to create an inspiring and powerful environment, where women can unite and share experiences but also to elevate each other to the next level. Through the High Tech Tea talks power ladies in tech are asked to give advice to the next generation, on how to grow and learn in the industry of technology. And by doing so, Young Coders hopes to make sure that the next generation of IT specialists consists out of more equality in every way.