Tech, construction sectors losing talent by making women feel unwelcome
The construction and technology sector is losing a lot of talent and qualified personnel because women don't stay in the industry, said the VHTO expertise center for gender diversity in science, technology, and IT. "That is problematic because there is a major shortage of employees in this sector," VHTO said, Noordhollands Dagblad reports.
The expertise center questioned about 200 women about their experiences in the sector. "Women do not feel at home in their workplace, are judged differently from their male colleagues, there is no suitable work clothing for them, or they are given little room to organize their work flexibly," the center said. While more and more women are following STEM studies, the proportion of women among professionals is stuck at around 14 percent.
According to VHTO, the sector can make simple adjustments to keep women working there. For example, women would feel more at home in a company if they took down the posters of naked women, the expertise center said. "Provide safety shoes in small sizes and a women's toilet," said VHTO director Sahar Yadegari. "That may seem logical but is too often lacking."
Executives should also ensure that women have access to informal networks and a mentoring program within the company. They should measure women and men against the same criteria and provide more flexible working hours for all their employees. "And actively invite women to apply," VHTO said.