Six Lessons from Tech Companies Tackling Gender Inequality

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Women in tech earn
9% less, on average, than their male colleagues for the same work – losing out on around £5,000 a year. And this figure only worsens with time, growing to 10% for women with 2 – 6 years’ experience and a staggering 31% once they have passed the 6-year mark in their career.

So, what can be done? Looking up to companies that seem to be doing it right could and should inspire action. 

What are leading tech names doing that SME tech firms find tricky to set up, fund, or even consider? Every company wants a higher level of diversity in their workforce and a minimal gender pay gap, but how can this really be achieved?

Here’s how some leading tech firms are pushing for gender equality by closing the pay gap and supporting women through professional development, policies, and initiatives for the next generation.

Adobe and Salesforce Face the Pay Gap Head On with Policies and Data

Adobe continues to make great strides in ensuring gender diversity and equity through regularly analysing and acknowledging gender issues - both within their organisation and the tech sector as a whole.

Their 2020 Gender Pay Report not only declared the mean and median pay gap in Adobe UK, but also delved into the distribution of gender in each pay quartile and the ‘bonus gap’ between the genders, providing an in-depth declaration of their current pay statistics.

Adobe also outline certain steps that they look to take in the years to come as they continue to work toward gender diversity and the closing of the pay gap. These steps include technology education initiatives for young, underrepresented groups, such as young women with disabilities, as well as ensuring an inclusive work environment through programmes where women can connect and discuss any challenges they face.

Back in 2015, Salesforce ploughed $3 million into closing the pay gap, and like Adobe, Salesforce goes into great detail when declaring their pay gap data. Their latest report covers average pay, bonuses, plus quartile gender proportions. 

Salesforce’s reflection upon each company year also allows them to identify progress made, successful initiatives, and weak points which still need further work. For example, their 2021 Report identified that their High Potential Leadership Programme led to a 33% increase of women in leadership positions, and their 2021 graduate programme intake being 64% female has led them to strive for even greater entry level diversity in the future.

As of 2020, Adobe and Salesforce still have sizeable pay gaps, standing at 21.86% and 10.9% respectively. But as their depth of analysis and future plans show, the future for women in these corporations looks far more equitable than it once did.

Key Takeaway for the SME

Data, data, data. It’s key to understanding how your current gender equality efforts are reflecting in the real-world. But as a smaller firm, you can also gain meaningful input from the women working for you as to what any changes you make really mean to their everyday lives and long term career goals.

Medtronic Shows How it’s Done from the Moment of Hire

A global leader in medical device solutions, Medtronic recently earned a Catalyst Award for accelerating and advocating the progress of women in the workplace, and in 2020 achieved 99% gender pay equity globally.

Over the last several years Medtronic has taken an active approach to closing the gender gap by increasing hiring, promotion, mentorship and support for female employees. To build upon their progress of advancing opportunities for females within the company, Medtronic is working on evolving their development programs for additional career opportunities and learning styles.

Key Takeaway for the SME

Gender equity should be considered at every stage, from hire through to professional development for the long haul. 

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As a leading software company, Citrix is proud of their efforts towards empowering young women in tech.

Citrix has partnered with several community programmes and initiatives that help young people explore and expand their curiosity for science and technology, particularly young girls and ethnic minorities. They most notably have a partnership with Girls Who Code, a global non-profit organisation that encourages girls to develop technological skills whilst promoting ‘bravery and sisterhood’. Citrix are sponsors of the Summer Immersion programme for girls in high school, and support university students with the College Loop programme, of which they are a founding member.

They also encourage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with generous donations of thousands of STEM kits, helping inspire “the next generation of future technologists” regardless of their background.

Key Takeaway for the SME

Always look for opportunities to support girls and young women, whether this be through leading your own programme, or sponsoring an existing one. As well as making an impact in the lives of these females, you also get your name out there as a tech company that values all that women bring to the table.

Cognizant Champion their Workers

You can meet tons of women leaders and read their stories on Cognizant’s website, but they all share one common theme: they’ve received incredible support from their company.

Cognizant’s‘Women Empowered’ programme brings women together through networking events, dinners and forums across the world, aiming to reflect their values of community, opportunity, and networking.

Cognizant’sgender pay gap continues to shrink, and is now lower than the UK average, sitting at only a 6% median compared with the UK median average of 15.5% as of April 2020. 

Initiatives such as their Working Families programme, which provides support to working mums and dads through seminars and interactive sessions, will likely help minimise their pay gap even further and encourage gender diversity overall.

Key Takeaway for the SME

Take a look at female-focussed tech events (start here).

Bumble Simply Listens

“We promote accountability, equality, and kindness in an effort to end misogyny and re-write archaic gender roles”... Bumble’s mission statement. So clearly, Bumble takes women’s leadership and growth seriously.

At Bumble, employees have sit-downs to discuss their career trajectories every few months and are encouraged to work flexible schedules that meet their needs. This is especially important for working mothers, who can earn more and stay on their career tracks when given flexibility in the workplace.

Other perks include regular training and development opportunities, and a monthly wellness stipend so you stay your best self.

Key Takeaway for the SME

Flexibility is underrated. Asking the question as to how you can support a woman in the workplace can lead to simple changes that could alter her career trajectory and, in turn, her commitment to your company.

Although diversity and gender equality within workforces has come a long way in recent years, and these companies can act as prime examples of this progress, there’s more to do. Let’s talk about how Softweb can help with gender equality for your next hire.

0117 428 9400 |



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