The small number of women in the technology industry is being blamed on a lower percentage of females enrolling in science and maths based subjects while at school.
Research has suggested that the recruitment process for technology companies during in-school information sessions might be deterring girls from careers in the tech world.
Researchers Professor Shelley Correll and Alison Wynn, a postdoctoral researcher, sent 84 observers to a West Coast college campus in the U.S where 66 companies recruited entry level employees for technical roles. These sessions aren’t uncommon, however the methods used by recruiters, as found by the research, indicated that the companies failed to engage with female students, on occasions pushing them away. This type of behaviour results in women who are in line to graduate with a degree in engineering or computer science being forced out of the tech industry.
The sessions would often tailor content to males, including ‘nerd culture’ with references to predominantly male interests. The staff members leading the sessions where also male, with any women representing tech companies involved solely in communicating on company culture or assisting to set up refreshments. Inappropriate jokes were reported at a number of sessions, particularly from male presenters, painting women in a poor manor.
Similar patterns occurred throughout the conducted research, with female students asking fewer questions or even leaving the session early.
Recruitment is only a small aspect of how women are being treated unfairly across the globe, but by rectifying this element of the workplace, it opens up new world of job possibilities for women.