Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM
Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM

The Five Blockers Stopping Women Joining the Tech Industry

By . March 8, 2024
In 2023, there was an increase of women leaving the tech industry (TechTalent Charter), but also not enough women coming in to replace them. But what are those blockers stopping women from joining the tech industry? According to the Breaking Barriers: Woman in Tech Speak Out report (a partnership by Sage, Reframe Women in Tech and Tech Returners), there are five key reasons why women are missing out on opportunities within the tech industry:

1. Lack of awareness or contact with the tech industry

A major obstacle for women in entering the tech industry is a lack of awareness and exposure to it. This lack of exposure makes it difficult for women to explore opportunities, develop necessary skills, and build professional networks within the tech sector. This gap in awareness can be attributed to the limited emphasis on tech education in previous generations, with only Gen Z being among the first to encounter coding in schools. Additionally, access to technical education varies depending on location and educational policies. Despite efforts from some women to enter the industry, the inherent lack of familiarity with tech and limited visibility of opportunities continue to act as significant barriers, hindering women from realising their full potential and contributing diverse perspectives to the industry.
What can businesses do?
50% of women think organisations should provide more specialist entry programmes such as graduate schemes, returner programmes and apprenticeships. This includes engaging with schools, and educational institutes and support initiatives such as Digital Her. Businesses can also introduce alternative hiring methods, more suitable for women and other diverse talent, including offering opportunities for individuals who have taken career breaks or non-university paths to help encourage more to enter the tech industry.

2. Lack of women role models

The absence of women role models within the tech industry highlights the lack of awareness among women, creating a harmful cycle that needs addressing. Without visible examples of successful women in tech careers, aspiring women lack inspiration, encouragement, and belief in their own potential. Perpetuating stereotypes of tech as a male-dominated domain further reinforces feelings of exclusion and limits opportunities for women. This lack of representation also leads to scarce mentorship opportunities, hindering professional development and growth for women in the industry.
What can businesses do?
There are four simple actions businesses can take to help highlight woman more publicly: 1. Support women into leadership 2. Highlighting women roles models publicly 3. Encourage women in tech to join community groups 4. Visible, tangible development paths and progression

3. Exclusionary hiring process

A significant barrier for women entering the tech industry is the overly complex and intimidating job application process. This obstacle not only impedes diverse hiring practices but also discourages women from applying for tech roles. Technical job descriptions and hiring processes often lack clarity, inclusive language, and information about flexible work culture, further exacerbating the issue. 84% of respondents have seen a job that they are really interested in but did not apply for it 72% haven’t applied because they didn’t think they have the right skills 80% didn’t apply because they didn’t think they had the right experience 56% didn’t think they were good enough for the role
What can businesses do?
Here are some simple points that can make all the difference in hiring a more diverse team: 1. Does the role really require a degree? 2. Make sure you have clear gender-neutral, jargon-free role descriptions 3. Broadcast your flexible working policies 4. Display Salary 5. Representation throughout the hiring process 6. Inclusive interview practices

4. Confidence

Research indicates that nearly all of the 250 women surveyed identified lack of confidence or imposter syndrome as significant barriers to entering the tech industry. It's emphasised that confidence is situational and organisations must urgently create inviting, inclusive workplaces for women. Despite being a longstanding issue, there's a concerning lack of action or support to address it. It's crucial to have open discussions about confidence in the workplace and actively work towards solutions. Recognising and supporting women in overcoming this struggle should be prioritised from the hiring process through career progression. It's time to take action and create an empowering environment for women to thrive in tech.
What can businesses do?
There are a number of steps businesses can take to help increase the confidence in women within the tech industry: 1. Supportive resources for employee wellbeing: 78% believe organisations should provide more coaching and support. 2. Recognise value in career breaks: 75% of women perceive career breaks as negatively impacting on their professional trajectory. 3. Invest in confidence support: programmes are available to support women to overcome imposter syndrome and develop a strong sense of self-assurance, helping to increase their productivity and career progression. 4. A multifaceted approach to inclusive workplaces: This should address policies, practices and cultural aspects.

5. Discrimination

As sad as it is, discrimination still poses a substantial barrier for women in the tech industry, even in the modern day. This includes ageism, sexism, racism, gatekeeping, and bias, both conscious and unconscious. These factors impact various aspects from hiring to development opportunities. Addressing these challenges is essential to fostering a more equitable tech industry.
What can businesses do?
These three tips can help diminish discrimination, both conscious and unconscious: 1. Training and policy: implement mandatory training that addresses issues and provides strategies for employees 2. Employee Resource Groups: These focus on specific communities or underrepresented groups. 3. Anonymised CVs: At Certes, we anonymise CVs for our customers to help eliminate unconscious bias. This is something that in-house recruitment teams can also implement. In conclusion, the barriers preventing women from joining the tech industry are multi-faceted and deeply ingrained. From a lack of awareness and role models to exclusionary hiring processes, confidence issues, and discrimination, women face numerous obstacles on their path to entering and thriving in tech careers. Businesses must take proactive steps to address these challenges and create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for women in tech. This includes implementing specialised entry programs, highlighting women role models, revising hiring processes to be more inclusive, providing support for confidence-building, and actively combating discrimination through training, policy, and anonymous recruitment practices. By tackling these issues head-on, we can pave the way for a more equitable and diverse tech industry that benefits from the talents and perspectives of all individuals, regardless of gender. If you would like more information on how Certes can help recruit a diverse team, please email:



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