Empowering Women in Tech From the Beginning – Hiring and Interview Advice

Empowering women in tech should start from the very beginning: the interview process. We asked our community of Ivanti employees and customers what advice they had companies as they strive to encourage gender quality.

In the responses, a common theme we found was that gender equality and female empowerment often begins before the applicant even starts the job. Here are some pieces of advice related to the hiring process.

Empowering Women: The Interview and Job Listing

“Have a woman on the interview panel. If this is not possible, have a woman who can pop in for some of the interview to talk about her experience on the team.”

Sarah Lewis, Field Marketing

“Think about changing the way you advertise your roles. Put an emphasis on the skills rather than experience (e.g. problem solving, communication, customer service). Make sure the job advertisements are written in a gender-neutral manner.”

Sally Bogg, IT Services, Leeds Beckett University, Ivanti Customer 

Empowering Women: Flexibility

“Companies should have a clear outline on their website or in their recruitment postings about the company’s policy around flexible working, in terms of hours, but also location. From conversations I’ve had with friends who also work full-time, flexible working is a massive factor in their decision of which companies to join.  However, in an interview situation, there may not be a good moment to bring the question up. Companies who have a clear policy from the offset make themselves a much more attractive choice.”

– Karen Peacock, Senior Program Manager 

“Life has a lot of challenges and sometimes balancing it is one of the biggest. Having flexibility in terms of working hours, practices, and location can make a huge difference. Offering returnships as an example can help transition back to work in case priorities shift for a period of time. I may choose to pause my career and give my full attention to my family and have the confidence and ability to come back to my career.”

– Kate Lobo, Sales Engineer

“Think about making roles available via job shares or part-time/flexible working practices.”

– Sally Bogg, IT Services, Leeds Beckett University, Ivanti Customer 

Empowering Women: Diversity

“Companies need to acknowledge and address the backlash that may occur from launching a diversity hiring program. If a company says they want to hire more women and minorities, some people may feel that this is unfair to the white male majority. Some may be worried that this means there will be less opportunities from them. Companies should address these feelings and communicate how a diversity hiring program benefits all. By hiring more women, the company will perform better, which creates more opportunities for everyone. If diversity programs are failing to increase diversity, the organization should assess the programs they are offering and search for new and innovative ways to solve this problem.”

– Jason Mitchell, VP of Engineering 

“Feature more images of female employees on your company website, not just stock images. This is a great way to show potential applicants that there are other valued females on the team.”

Erica Azad, Digital Marketing 

“I think there are a couple of things companies should consider doing when promoting gender equality in the workplace.

“First, I believe you must set a diversity objective, create a plan of action, and measure success. This enables us to translate our objective into actions and determine what works and what doesn’t. If we miss the mark, we know it because we measured it. We can then apply new tactics and evaluate their success (or failure) until we achieve our objective.

“Secondly, I think we have to broaden our view. We need to look beyond the walls of our company and see what we can do in our communities. As a tech employer, we will continue to struggle toward gender equality in the workplace until we have a larger pool of women to employ. As we all know, there is a deficit of women in STEM. Although HR is committed to recruiting more women, we all have a part to play in molding and supporting the young women in our neighborhoods (and households) and helping to spark their interests in STEM careers. Companies can do a lot just by working with local schools and youth organizations to promote technology (in our case) careers with children while they’re minds are still pliable and know they can do anything!”

– Sue Urses, VP of Human Resources