Tech employers should offer more flexible working if they want to attract more women, a study has found.
When asked what was important to retaining staff in the long term, 76% of female tech professionals said the opportunity to work remotely.
A similar number (72%) said their career progression path should be defined by clear goals at to what is required of them to achieve promotion.
The technology industry suffers from a poor gender balance. Women account for just 16% of IT jobs in the UK, according to trade bodies BCS and the Tech Partnership.
Many companies get behind initiatives like the Women in IT Awards, a large awards programme attended by more than 1,000 people in London each year, to promote diversity and identify new female role models.
However, when so many female professionals clearly value to ability to work remotely, it begs the question: why don’t more tech employers allow it?
>See also: Women in IT Awards 2017: winners revealed
“As the UK tech industry continues to grow, employers are likely to face growing skills shortages,” says Dawn May, manager at recruitment firm Robert Walters, which conducted the research with job board Jobsite. “Attracting professionals and retaining them long term is a challenge managers will have to address if their organisation is to achieve sustainable growth.
“Particularly among tech firms, the freedom to work remotely is becoming increasingly popular with professionals. The flexibility these policies afford staff is a powerful draw for top talent and employers should consider whether they can introduce or expand these policies within their own organisation to secure the best professionals.
“By offering a structured path for career progression employers are in a strong position to secure professionals who are looking for an employer they can grow and develop with. This in turn can reduce the risk of staff attrition by ensuring that professionals can realise their ambitions without moving to a new employer.”