How Female-Focused Job Boards Like Hire Tech Ladies Promote Diversity In Tech by Laurence Bradford

How Female-Focused Job Boards Like Hire Tech Ladies Promote Diversity In Tech by Laurence Bradford

It’s not much of a secret that women are underrepresented in the tech industry — its lack of diversity has become notorious over the years. According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), women represented a mere 15% of computer science bachelor’s degree recipients in 2014, despite the fact that significantly more women earn degrees than men. And in 2015, women held only 25% of all professional computing occupations.

Plenty of theories attempt to explain this gender gap — from the perception of tech culture as a “boys’ club” to the assumption that girls don’t perform as well in math and science.

Allison Esposito sees these factors for what they are: cultural problems revolving around the core issue of a lack of support for women entering (or hoping to enter) the industry. This barrier, often referred to as “the pipeline problem,” is a big part of the reason that Esposito started her company Tech Ladies, and associated jobs website Hire Tech Ladies, to provide women with the resources and community they need to be successful.

A former Google employee, Esposito actually got her start on the opposite side of the spectrum, in the distinctly non-technical field of journalism. She later moved into marketing and copywriting at tech companies. Working with some friends to build apps on the side sparked her interest in tech; she pointed her career in a new direction and hasn’t looked back since.

Tech Ladies, which started as a ten-woman meetup group, has since become a 5,000-strong online community which facilitates companies to find the female talent they need. Several other similar companies have been born in recent years: Power to Fly, Women in Technology International, and more.

All of them illustrate an encouraging trend: namely, that an increasing number of tech companies are finally becoming interested in closing the gender gap (even if there’s a long road ahead). “The women in our group are so impressive and so awesome and hirable,” says Esposito. “I’m an optimist and I actually think most companies want to understand diversity and understand the importance of hiring in a diverse way. So let’s give them an easy way to do that.”

She notes that for companies, the search process needs to be intentional. “You have to actively recruit in diverse ways if you want to fill your pipeline with diverse candidates. [Companies are] coming to us because they want to get in front of a curated list of women.”

Esposito’s vision for Hire Tech Ladies is not necessarily to connect women with any tech job, but to connect them with the right job. Women in the workplace often encounter issues like sexual harassment, subpar maternity policies, and exclusionary work environments. “We can’t solve all of those at Hire Tech Ladies,” Esposito explains, “but we can do a good job of featuring good companies that care about their culture.”


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