Women in IT

What women want in the IT workplace: 6 key factors for hiring and retention

Women are exiting IT in droves, as companies struggle to hire and engage these valuable employees. The first step to change? Listening to what women want.

What women want in the IT workplace: 6 key factors for hiring and retention
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What do women want at work? The same things every worker wants: fair pay, flexibility and the ability to work on projects that fuel their passion and make a difference — not just in the workplace, but in the world at large. And if your organization also offers growth potential and boasts successful female role models on your leadership teams, then you've got a formula for attracting, hiring and retaining the best women technologists available today.

“Women aren’t looking for different things than men; that’s a stereotype,” says Michelle Bailey, global vice president, general manager, and research fellow at IDC. “Men are actually looking for more paternity leave, flex time, work-life balance. Everyone wants to be paid fairly, they want flexibility, they want meaningful work. Tech is quite mature now, so everyone understands that if you’re working eighty hours a week, something’s wrong.”

While that is true in the main, a closer look at what women want from tech employment highlights significant differences in what women face in the workplace and how employers can evolve their practices to foster an environment where women will want to work and will thrive.

Compensation (and equal pay)

According to the recent IDC research study Women in Technology: Diversity, Inclusion and the Future of Work, when asked what factors are most important as a measure of a successful job or career, compensation topped the list for women and men. But whereas only 39 percent of men surveyed said it was their top concern, 52 percent of women did — a likely result of the persistence of the gender pay gap in tech.

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