Attracting, retaining and developing female talent in the technology sector – American Express

Attracting, retaining and developing female talent in the technology sector everywoman and our Founding Partner American Express are working together to support companies who tell them they want to do more to support women in technology.

American Express recently invited women from a range of companies – in entry-level tech positions through to senior management roles – to a networking event at their Brighton office. The topic of the day was how to create real change in the technology sector.

Following the event, attendees shared their thoughts with us.

When asked about the most important factors businesses should consider when it comes to recruiting and retaining women in IT roles, they rated the below in order of importance:

1. New experiences and challenges
2. Opportunities for cross functional moves and promotions
3. Flexibility/work hours
4. Stability and benefits
5. Group dynamics/creative freedom
6. Company values

On the subject of retaining staff, many highlighted the importance of activities to prevent burnout and promote well-being, as well as a structured programme of career support at all levels. Personal development opportunities were also seen as important.

But retaining staff is only half of the battle. It’s also important to ensure the technology sector is attractive to women in the first place. As well as addressing the barriers to joining, which included concerns about the school curriculum encouraging girls to progress in Technology and the availability of careers advice, the group highlighted the importance of gender balance: by ensuring both sexes are represented. This means that men will be able to recognise and acknowledge the challenges faced by women and female staff won’t exclude men as a result of ‘unconscious bias’.

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