As a recruiter for technical leadership roles across Asia, I spend my days and nights speaking with people from different backgrounds, with diverse demographics and life experiences.
I am especially passionate about representing the many senior women that are making a splash in the notoriously male dominated world of technology; understanding what has helped or hindered their careers and taking these learnings to the employers I help.
Employers are addressing gender imbalance, but more needs to be done
For any organisation to transform, innovate and grow it is vital that their workforce is representative of their customers, clients, and the communities they serve. And gender is of course, just one aspect of this.
When it comes to attracting and developing tech talent in Asia, organisations are making strides to add more women to their upper echelons. Employers who understand the competitive advantage they stand to gain by having more diversity in their workforce, are actively pursuing and embedding more inclusive talent attraction and retention strategies.
The biggest reason is that they stand to be the major beneficiaries. According to a McKinsey & Co report about 43% of entry-level positions in Asian companies are occupied by women, but at the C-suite and senior-management levels, this drops to 25% in Singapore and as low as 4% in Japan. This is a huge loss of untapped talent.
Although more women in tech are starting to make their mark, there is still more work to be done and it’s up to employers to showcase their commitment to women across their business.
One woman I spoke to recently who holds a senior technical role based in Singapore in a global organisation commented that: ‘in my experience women’s views in the organisations I have worked for in Asia are not taken seriously as “expert” and they are sometimes valued less than their male counterparts, despite their ability and often exceptional backgrounds.’
Who’s helping women up-skill?
There are some fantastic organisations in Asia that encourage women into technology and provide tailored training programs. Cloud Seeders, in Singapore, is an AWS backed program providing women with a structured and guided approach to learning a diverse set of cloud and digital skills as well as working on the confidence levels of their members.
She Loves Data, another organisation founded in Singapore, equip women with data science and data analytics skills and in turn partners with banks and other businesses to bring women back into the work place and into technology.
So, what should employers be doing more of?
Partnering with expert and specialist recruiters and organisations such as Cloud Seeders and She Loves Data to tap into new talent pools
Showcasing their commitment to diversity and inclusion in recruitment materials and throughout the hiring process
Promoting flexible working policies internally and externally
Training leaders and hiring managers on how to mitigate unconscious bias in the selection process
Fostering a culture of inclusion, community and conversation amongst employees once they join
Providing unique and transparent career progression and development opportunities
At Stanton House, we are driven by the belief that diversity and inclusion is inextricably linked to business performance and employee engagement and retention. We are passionate about unlocking potential at the individual, team and leadership levels to drive high performance through inclusive practices.
"It's been a pleasure working with Joanne and I would highly recommend Stanton House to others (and have done so!). Personal service and a demonstrated passion to support client and candidates throughout the process to ensure the best outcomes is, for me, a differentiating factor."