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IT Skills Shortages & Women in Tech

Tech North and EY have produced a paper, ably summarised by Clare McDonald at Computer Weekly today.

They state that there are 1.4 jobs for every tech employee in the north of England and one of the remediations that the report suggests is that all communities should be included when employers search for IT skills. 

This is great news for Women in Tech and the work that many groups have been doing to drive up the numbers of women attracted into careers in IT and even better news for those of us trying to retain women in tech.   Great that we can be such a prized commodity after all this time.  

One of the key things that employers will need to remember is that; in order to take advantage of this kind of external push, they have managers who understand how to hire without reference to undiscovered personal unconscious biases.  They might also think about the benefits of transportable skills and how these can be negated when managers either hire in their own image,  or hire with an inflexible image of the person they want to employ.  In the latter case, if the conceptual  ‘Best Person For the Job’  is white, male, under 45 and has a very rigid set of core skills, then the hiring manager has closed the door to female candidates, candidates of colour, and anyone with decades of valuable skill.