Digital tech firms offered advice on hiring more women

Industry research suggests women make up just 18 per cent of the tech workforce in Scotland. Picture: Wikicommons
Industry research suggests women make up just 18 per cent of the tech workforce in Scotland. Picture: Wikicommons
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Digital tech businesses in Scotland are being encouraged to sign up for a programme designed to give employers advice on how to increase the number of women working in the sector.

A free “webinar” series has been created in response to research that found women account for only 18 per cent of the tech workforce north of the border.

Running on April 18, 24 and 27, the interactive webinars are suitable for all digital technologies employer - from start-ups and SMEs to larger organisations.

They will guide employers through how to take positive action measures, such as recruitment, as well setting out the business and economic case for increasing women’s representation in tech.

It will also offer practical advice on introducing flexible working hours for employees.

A best practice guide is also available, featuring case studies from employers taking action on improving the gender balance in tech roles across Scotland.

Edinburgh-based FreeAgent is one of the companies that has contributed to the new resources.

Olly Headey, FreeAgent co-founder and CTO, said: “As employers it’s important that we are aware of how we position ourselves in the market to ensure we are being as inclusive as possible.

“This means understanding the laws on discrimination, paying attention to the wording on our job adverts, being aware of the impact of cognitive biases during interviews and ensuring we create an inclusive workplace culture.”

He added: “The more focus companies put on improving diversity in their workplace, and the more we talk about it openly within our industry, the better our chances of success will be.”

READ MORE: 5 of the most influential women in Scottish tech right now

The resource was developed by by Skills Development Scotland and Equate Scotland in partnership with the Digital Technologies Skills Group.

Talat Yaqoob, director of Equate Scotland, said: “Only 18 per cent of the technology workforce in Scotland are women, we need diversity in the sector to not only overcome the skills shortage but also to remain globally competitive and creative.

“This guide is designed to support employers to take action on gender equality and implement real change. Whether an organisation is a start-up or an established large employer, there are steps everyone can take to overcome the gender gap in technology.”

The initiative is part of the Digital Technologies Skills Group’s action plan to increase female participation in digital technology throughout the pipeline.

Places on the online seminar can be registered online