8 Ways Tech Companies in Virginia Can Recruit More Women

IT Recruiters in Virginia understand the importance of bringing more women into the tech field. The tech sector employs between 36 to 48% women (some figures put that lower). As you move up the chain of command, the number of women in tech leadership gradually declines. At the executive level, the industry is still heavily dominated by men. Only 20% of women are leaders in the IT space. Simultaneously, Deloitte warns that women have two times the quit rate of men in the tech industry. If you’re worried about tech staffing and recruitment of women into your organization, Virginia’s top IT recruiters provide eight actionable steps you can take right now to overcome these numbers.

A Tech Recruitment Agency in Newport News Shares Tips for Hiring Women in IT

Tech recruitment agencies in Newport News are often tasked with increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) numbers for the companies they serve. Virginia-area recruiters know they have an uphill climb to replace decades of male-dominated tech environments. There are plenty of signs, however, that these efforts are paying. CTR and other tech staffing and recruitment firms work closely with organizations to promote more women into tech. It’s a great partnership that offers real value to clients and job seekers.

Companies can help in these efforts by using the following eight tactics to help attract more women candidates:

  1. Create equity in hiring by providing equal pay to women.
  2. Increase the presence of women during the interview process.
  3. Diversify strategies to recruit women.
  4. Build women-focused mentoring programs.
  5. Smash gender bias with blind interviews.
  6. Promote women into leadership.
  7. Write better job ads.
  8. Create a family-first benefits policy.

#1 Eliminate Gender Pay Gaps to Recruit Women in Tech Jobs

The pay gap between men and women is real, pervasive, and frankly ridiculous. Equal Pay Day is on March 15th. That date wasn’t chosen arbitrarily, but instead, represents the number of days into the year women need to work to catch up to the salaries of their male counterparts.

In tech, men are offered higher salaries than women for the exact same job. Women are held to the same job requirements. They just get paid less 59% of the time. Typically, women’s salaries are 2.5% less than their male counterparts for the same job and work requirements. The World Economic Forum suggests it will take 268 years to right these wrongs across the globe. But you can make an impact right here and now by looking at your tech staffing and recruitment policies and your current salaries to determine if you are perpetuating these salary biases.

Make sure you’re not only looking at the salaries you offer candidates, but also evaluate existing employees to improve retention numbers. Then, talk with CTR, your tech recruitment agency in Newport News, to strategize ways to promote your gender pay equity policies to candidates.

#2 Add Women to Interview Panels

Diversity should also be a priority during your hiring process. Being interviewed by different types of people with different worldviews and experiences gives candidates a better impression of your company. To attract more women, put more women on your tech interview panel. It will send a message that your organization is committed to inclusivity and reinforce the bottom-line equal opportunity message that we hope is a part of your recruiting strategies for tech hiring.

There is also the added benefit for your company that a diverse hiring panel brings multiple perspectives when evaluating candidates for hire. This process also engages current employees in the overall success of the organization.

#3 Diversify Your Recruitment Strategy to Attract More Women

Diversifying your IT recruitment strategy to attract more women requires a combination of targeted outreach, inclusive messaging, and inclusive hiring practices. Your efforts can include strategies to target women by attending women-focused events and using social channels with diverse and predominantly female audiences. Showing diversity in your company culture on your website, on social, and in your job posts can spread the word that you are committed to promoting more women in tech. Two great tactics are sharing employee testimonials and emphasizing diversity in your mission statement. You can also work closely with your tech staffing and recruitment firm to ensure that their strategic approaches in sourcing and interviewing candidates reinforce your recruitment diversity goals.

#4 Create Strong Mentorship Programs for Women at Your Tech Company

Creating mentorship programs for the women on your IT team is particularly important. The statistics tell us:

  • 92% of all U.S. Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs.
  • The median profits for companies with mentoring programs are more than three times higher than companies without mentoring programs.
  • There is evidence that mentoring helps with employee retention. Companies with mentoring programs keep their workers longer. One company defines mentorship in this way:“A mentor is someone who usually has either a similar profession or background and who can offer their wisdom and share their experience with the mentee to help conquer obstacles and make important career choices. The right mentor can even be a door opener and a long-term point of reference to confide in during the journey.”

Pairing women together can support career development as they navigate their male-dominated professions. Mentoring programs can provide guidance, support, and advice to help women overcome challenges as they develop their careers. Notably, the data shows 25% of women who participated in a mentoring program had a bump in their salary, compared to only 5% of workers who did not participate.

Mentorship programs benefit both the mentor and mentee, so this effort may also help with retention of your existing staff. One study showed 87% of mentors and mentees felt empowered by the relationship, reporting higher job satisfaction.

#5 Eliminate Gender Bias with Blind Interviews

Blind interviews help eliminate gender-related information from resumes and cover letters. Removing this information ensures candidates are evaluated purely based on their qualifications and experiences.

You can foster these best practices with your internal hiring teams but also with your tech staffing and recruitment firm.

Another way to continue the idea behind blind interviews is to adopt standardized testing. Testing is always controversial in the IT field. If your organization does test, make sure they are designed in a way that focuses on job-specific skills and knowledge to avoid any gender-based stereotypes.

Also, make sure you use gender-neutral language during interviews. Treat every candidate fairly and equally and make sure the Newport News tech recruitment agency you hire does the same.

#6 Recruit Women for Leadership Positions

It’s easier to attract women candidates when you have women in leadership positions in your company. This effort does this in several ways:

  • Seeing women in leadership positions gives women candidates a sense that there is no glass ceiling at your company. Women in leadership represent the idea to other women that if they can do it, you can, too.
  • Women in leadership serve as role models for job seekers, showing them career advancement is possible and potentially that your company promotes from within.
  • Women at the top create workforce inclusivity, showing job candidates that your company values diversity and promotes opportunities for career advancement. Deloitte recently published a study showing large tech companies are increasing their female workforce representation. The fastest area of growth, however, is in leadership. By 2022, female leadership will be at 22%. This is very positive momentum, considering it was just under 7% in 2019.

#7 Provide Inclusive Language on Tech Job Posts to Attract Women

Writing an inclusive job ad is important to avoid unconscious bias while attracting a diverse talent pool. To do this, organizations must:

  • Use gender-neutral language, such as “they” or “the successful candidate.”
  • Avoid stereotyping with words like “competitive” or “driven.”
  • Focus on job requirements and avoid anything irrelevant that might discourage candidates from applying.
  • Highlight your commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Avoid age-related terms, such as “recent graduate.”
  • Avoid culture-specific terms that might not be familiar to everyone.

Some companies use a job description tool to help them avoid creating an ad that inadvertently drives good candidates away. CTR Group often works with our clients to help them craft the perfect (and inclusive) job description.

#8 Implement Family-Friendly Benefit Policies

Your company can attract more women into tech by supporting new parents and implementing family-friendly benefits. Research from McKinsey suggests that when both parents in a two-parent household can stay home after the birth of their child, it bolsters the family’s income. Some ways to support these policies include flexible work arrangements, a robust family leave policy, and the best health insurance policies your company can afford.

Hire More Women with a Leader Among Tech Recruitment Agencies in Virginia

CTR Group is a leader of IT recruiters in Virginia committed to diversity and inclusion. Founded in 1987, we are a full-service staffing agency for the industrial, maritime, and professional industries. We are committed to bringing in diverse talent to help your business succeed. Contact us if you’re considering a tech staffing and recruitment firm in the Newport News region. We can help.


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