Gender Diversity in Tech / Expert Series – Episode 2
We’ve spoken about gender diversity in tech before. It’s an issue that needs to be tackled. Recently, our team visited Dr Kara McGann from IBEC (Irish Business and Employers Confederation). Kara is a Senior Labour Market Policy Executive with IBEC. She holds a PhD in psychology and is a practising psychotherapist. Dr McGann holds a Masters in Business Studies. With IBEC, Kara provides strategic advice to member organisations about diversity and inclusion in business. She offers advice and support on skills and labour market policies and practices. Kara is also a board member of the Professional Women’s Network.
Gender Diversity in Tech
Dr McGann has an in-depth understanding of labour markets, and her knowledge of gender diversity is unrivalled. Not only is she aware of the statistics, her experience as a psychologist also enables her to offer insights as to where some of the psychological gaps can be when it comes to gender diversity.
Kara McGann tells us about her views on gender diversity in ICT and talks to us about isolation, organisational culture, conditions of work, behaviours, operational segregation, home life, work pressures and more.
Recommendations are also made on what can be done to encourage more people into the tech industry. Dr McGann expresses the importance of role models – from earlier education through to the top of the corporate ladder and more. She also talks about the number of female apprentices and the importance of growing these numbers.
Interestingly, Dr McGann talks about jobs descriptions, and how if a female does not have 100% of the criteria, they will not apply for the job, whereas with males, they are more likely to apply for a job with just 60% of the criteria. She also mentions how important the language of an ad is, and how often, some of the words can be stereotypically male. For example, “challenging”, “competitive”, “market leader”, would all be examples of male-orientated words. Whereas, words like “collaborative” & “trust” would be more female orientated. McGann discusses neutralising language to be more appealing to both sexes.
It was a real honour to be in a position to get these insights from Kara McGann. It’s time to revisit the question of gender diversity in tech.