Brazilian tech companies must encourage gender diversity

Female technologists feel their employers don't value diversity in the workplace and are not doing enough to support women in the sector, a study says.

Brazilian tech employers are not seen by their female workforce as diversity champions and most feel their current HR strategies are failing to support them, a study says.

Some 40 percent of females in the technology sector feel the companies they work don't place enough value in diverse teams, with 95 percent stating new perspectives, knowledge and experience would make the sector more diverse, according to the global research carried out by Booking.com.

SEE: Transgender employees in tech: Why this "progressive" industry has more work to do to achieve true gender inclusivity (TechRepublic cover story)

Finding talent and supporting women who already have the skills, knowledge and expertise in the industry is key to achieving greater diversity in the technology jobs market, argues Gillian Tans, chief executive at Booking.com.

"Diversifying talent - with all aspects of [women's] experience, origin and careers - needs to be a priority at all times," Tans adds.

Significant changes have taken place over the last decade to bring positive progress towards making the tech sector a gender-sensitive environment, but Tans argues organizations should continue to focus on that area.

From women in tech to patents: Nine areas where Middle East is winning, and losing

Two big studies show where the Middle East and North African regions are making progress with tech, and where they're still falling short.

Read More

"Companies that prioritize inclusiveness at all levels and work effectively with existing talents, in addition to encouraging new talents, will continue to grow and thrive," she points out.

According to the research, more than half of all Brazilian female technologists (57 percent) that returned to the technology market, or had a career break and returned, see that interruption as detrimental to their individual career development.

The study suggests employers must do more to support those who needed to take time away from their careers, with the majority of the female professionals in the tech sector surveyed for the study (76 percent) saying companies need to be more proactive in supporting their return to work.

Human Resources initiatives geared at getting women back into work after a period of time away with training, re-skilling and mentoring are seen by 75 percent of those polled as essential to overcome the challenges of returning to working life.

Having access to mentoring is also a key point raised by the Brazilian technologists polled, with 61 percent saying that having access to it upon returning to work made a significant contribution to the success of their careers.

"What our research tells us is that the technology market needs to work more closely to align strategies that encourage women to pursue a career in the field," Tans says.

"Women bring tremendous value that can impact technology companies and the global market positively, and should be part of proactive initiatives with a focus on inclusion, retention, and skill development," she concludes.

The Booking.com survey polled 6,898 participants from Brazil, United Kingdom, United States, France, The Netherlands, Germany, China, Australia, India and Spain between August and September 2018.