Women in Tech Value Different Employer Attributes Than Men

What do women in tech value most in a job? According to Dice’s Diversity and Inclusion Survey (PDF), their most-valued employer attributes differ significantly from those of men.

For example, women value benefits above all else, followed (in descending order) by a competitive salary, manageable working hours, a challenging work environment, and positive culture. Contrast that to men, who value a challenging work environment first and foremost, followed by a competitive salary, positive culture, benefits, and open/transparent communication. (Nearly 4,000 tech pros responded to the survey across the United States and United Kingdom.)

For employers hoping to hire and retain women employees, that data is important. And retention is a huge issue, as is morale. “Two-thirds of the U.S. women surveyed feel female employees are not equally represented at senior levels within their current or most recent employers,” read the report. “And unfortunately, 63 percent of women think nothing will change this calendar year.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, some 40 percent of women reported that they’d experienced discrimination at either their current or most recent employer. “It’s clear that this could be a major hurdle to finding and sustaining the best female talent in tech,” the report added. “Not only could employers lose the female talent they currently have, but they risk recruiting future talent.”

Fortunately, awareness is the first step toward cultural change. Hiring managers seeking to hire more women can take a hard look at tweaking benefits and salary, for starters, as well as their company’s work-life balance. Indeed, for startups and smaller companies fighting fiercely for talent in an ultra-competitive environment, this survey might come as good news: while salary is always important, the things that retain workers might end up being considerably cheaper in terms of the bottom line.

But even with cultural changes, diversity happens slowly. For example, big tech firms such as Google have pumped considerable resources into employee diversification, only to see their employee composition shift only slightly from year-to-year (if at all). Hiring managers and executives should recognize that such shifts take quite a bit of time; patience is required—along with constant attention.

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