Encouraging equality in the tech industry

8th March 2022

Encouraging women into tech needs to start at an early age. It needs to be reflected in the media we consume and are exposed to, the way it’s introduced and taught at school, exposure to strong role models and an understanding of the possibilities.

As an organisation, we can participate in job/career fairs, open our doors (when we can) to school groups and go to schools to give talks to name a few. What we would like to concentrate on in this article is what we can do to level the playing field when recruiting.

The stats

Let’s start with a nice positive statistic - According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the UK, 31% of tech jobs are held by women. While this may not sound great, in 2020 this figure was 17%. That’s more than an 80% uplift so we’re definitely headed in the right direction. Yay, go us!

Unfortunately, a whopping 73% of tech employees (with such a high figure this must encompass all genders) agree that sexism still exists in the industry. It’s not something that we experience at BrandStencil so I was stunned that the figure was still so high.

The last few years have been difficult for women in tech. A report published by TrustRadius in 2021 found that around 36% of men in tech felt like they were burning out compared to 57% of women. Due to the pandemic women were nearly twice as likely to have lost their jobs or been furloughed and remote working had mixed views. Working and homeschooling took their toll.

Although the statistics are not great they paint a picture of ways that the industry can improve.

What can we do?

To alleviate some of the challenges that women face in the tech industry will, in some part, be down to how organisations manage their internal work culture. According to TechRadius some of the pain points are;

  • Gender bias
  • Racial bias
  • Bro culture
  • Feeling outnumbered
  • The need to work harder to prove their worth

Along with promoting more women into leadership roles, among the other solutions suggested is offering equal maternity and paternity leave. It’s important to remember that some of the best solutions for equality are inclusive and don’t empower one group over the other.

We’re fortunate as a digital company based in Brighton (Hove actually) we have access to Wired Sussex. They are an online portal supporting the digital, media and technology sector in Sussex. They have a plethora of information aimed at supporting businesses of all sizes which includes a Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit. It’s a great resource for any business that wants to make sure that they're taking steps to be inclusive.

The first point of contact, however, is recruitment so how can businesses improve?

Advertising a role


The first touchpoint for anyone looking for a new role in your organisation is your job advert. Whether you mean to or not how you word this can impact who applies and unwittingly creates gender bias.

When an applicant is reading the job description they’re judging the type of candidate that you’re looking for. If you detail characteristics that are generally regarded as masculine it could look like you are indicating that males would be a better fit.

If you publish a job description using neutral or feminine coded language you’ll hopefully get more applications for women. To get a good balance across all genders it’s best to keep it neutral. There are job description analysis tools to help detect bias in language and suggest alternatives.

Try this tool on the Totaljobs website to see how your job description performs.


When it comes to outlining your requirements make sure you list the ones that are absolutely necessary and try to keep the number down.

In 2019 LinkedIn published a report which gave insight into the differences in how men and women search for a role. While they both browse in the same way the study showed that women feel that they need to meet ALL of the requirements before they apply for a position. This means that they apply to 20% fewer jobs.

The report advises that to open up your approach the best way is to focus on what the objectives of the role are. This will lead to potential candidates having a more realistic idea of what the job entails.

At BrandStencil we only like to list the requirements that are necessary for the role. In our experience, this has led to candidates applying who have other skills and experience that bring a new dimension to the role. Another way of doing this is differentiating between ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’.

Flexible working

Flexible working can be a daunting prospect for employers. In 2016 a study by PricewaterhouseCooper showed that flexible working leads to higher job satisfaction and an increase in performance. So there are distinct advantages for those employers who take the leap.

It doesn't benefit one gender over the other, however, what it does do is empower choice. Even though women have traditionally been charged with childcare, in recent years the number of stay at home fathers or split responsibility between parents has increased. Flexible working not only encourages women into tech but enables a more equal work-life balance within families.

We have a flexible working policy that allows employees to manage their daily lives. We have found that enabling this has allowed them to manage family responsibilities as other aspects of their life which needs to happen between the traditional 9 am - 5 pm. It is our experience that it creates increased engagement and a productive working environment. We also offer part-time roles where we can help people fit in with other commitments.

Professional development

Outline your continuous professional development program. It inspires the idea of growth and opportunities for promotion within your organisation. This can remove feelings of doubt and insecurities that women will not be able to advance to senior or leadership positions.

By doing this it’ll also help to skill up, empower and retain current employees reducing the revenue lost through employee churn.

Our employees are empowered with an annual budget for their training and development. They are also encouraged to use their expertise to mentor others within their team to pass on skills.

We find that this not only increases collaboration and teamwork, but it also increases the value of our product. As an online software provider, technology changes daily so you need to keep up. You’re only as strong as the people you invest in.

Brand Values

If your brand values promote diversity then it’s a good idea to reflect this in your job advert. At BrandStencil we believe that diversity is the foundation of creativity and a successful business so this is openly communicated in all our job ads. We invest in women switching careers to come into tech as well as encourage applications from all groups.

We also invest in a good work-life balance, family-friendly policies and a flexible working environment. This not only encourages equality, it promotes mental health. There is always more we can do to improve diversity and inclusion so we are always looking to improve our practices. You can discover our values and who we are on Our Team page.


We have only touched on the ‘advertising’ aspect of recruiting. There are lots to be done when screening, interviewing and data proofing for a role. For example, there’s an argument for scrapping the traditional ‘CV’ and replacing them with work samples, to help level the playing field. Attracting women and levelling the playing field in tech is not just beneficial for women but everyone including businesses.

As it is International Women's Day we have focused on equality and inclusion of women in tech, however, it's important to have a diverse workforce across gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity etc. Not only because it is the right thing to do but because it has a positive impact on an organisation's performance and development.