For some time now, chief information officers have recognized the shortage of women working throughout the information technology field. While they have acknowledged that their pool of iT professionals is male-heavy, little has been done to address the problem – until now, that is. As CIOs push to incorporate more female talent into their tech departments so their staff boasts a diverse spectrum of representatives, they may want to keep in mind a number of strategies. If they adopt the right mindset and employ certain tactics during the recruitment process, these executives could attract highly skilled female professionals with ease.
In general, there is a lower number of women going into STEM professions, which means that companies seeking female talent will have to exert extra effort to pin down the select group of viable applicants and successfully persuade these candidates to work for them. For this reason, CIOs cannot simply post listings for tech positions on job boards and hope for the best, because this will likely flood companies’ inboxes with applications from the many male professionals in IT.
Connect with schools
There are strategies that may enable tech executives to target women specifically and draw in the female team members for whom they are looking. For instance, CIO Magazine explained that if IT departments were to establish programs geared to women, they could render better results when it comes to recruiting these representatives.
To accomplish this, CIOs should think about designing programs that go right to the source, putting their companies in close contact with female IT talent. If executives are trying to figure out how to get started on these initiatives, their first step should be to reach out to educational institutions and form strong ties with select tech schools.
Companies can go about connecting with educational organizations in a couple of ways. For starters, they could look throughout their communities to see if there are local schools, universities or other programs to which they could provide their support. By backing these programs – whether it be through publicity or financial support – CIOs could attract attention for their businesses, and spread awareness about their efforts to back women in STEM fields and set them up for success.
Create internship opportunities
At the same time, businesses may want to collaborate with schools more closely, creating internship opportunities for young women interested in pursuing careers in IT. This would be valuable to CIOs for a variety of reasons. They could be able to access a direct pool of employment prospects, which would significantly boost their recruitment efforts. Also, tech executives could guide interns, shaping them into well-rounded job candidates who would be perfect complements to their staff further down the road.
Likewise, the female interns who participate in these programs would gain experience and establish strong connections with companies. Once these women enter the workforce, they will be more inclined to seek employment at a place where they already know the ropes, especially one that helped them out when they were still in school and that has taken an interest in improving their professional path.
If CIOs want to be competitive in terms of recruiting female representatives, then they best make moves and found an internship program, as other companies are doing the same.
“I think we’ll also see more training programs where companies work directly with colleges to help develop the channel,” Julie Peeler, foundation director of the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, told CIO Magazine.
One tactic that tech executives should consider when setting up these programs is to keep an open mind with regards to the female interns they hire. These are hands-on learning opportunities, and candidates from an array of backgrounds could excel, which means CIOs may want to expand their candidate pools to encompass a variety of majors.
“In October, I was at the Grace Hopper conference,” Julie Talbot-Hubbard, Chief Security Officer at Symantec, explained to the source. “We had a recruiting table for college-age women interested in a job or internship. A lot of them are in IT or engineers, but some are psychology or sociology majors – and I think that’s going to become more prevalent in the security world.”
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