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5 Perspectives on Supporting Women in Tech

27 January 2023 , by Josh Nel

How can we help bridge the gender gap in tech? Here's what women developers and tech leaders recommend to make tech a more welcoming space for women.


We’ve all heard of the gender pay gap: It’s common in almost all industries, but the gender gap and gender pay gap are particularly pronounced in tech, which has disproportionately more men than women. Only 17% of developers who took the OfferZen survey in South Africa and the Netherlands identified as women. Many organisations have recognised the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Of course, we’re all at different stages of learning and implementing, but are lucky to be in an industry where iterating and learning from each other is prioritised. Here are some handy resources from women developers and tech leaders that might be useful for you.

The Gender Pay Gap in Tech

Based on data from OfferZen’s 2022 Sate of the Developer Nation Report, OfferZen CEO Philip Joubert interrogates why South African women developers earn on average 17% less than their male counterparts.

Knowing what the tech gender pay gap looks like, especially by seniority level, helps to benchmark salaries and ensure women are paid equitably. As CEO, Philip shares some great insights into how OfferZen handles hiring and compensation in an equitable way.

Figuring out where the bottlenecks are with fewer women in tech helps us solve the problem from the outset. For example, Philip points out: “The earlier developers start coding, the more they earn…It turns out that male developers tend to start coding significantly earlier than female developers. By the time they were 18, over 50% of the men had started coding while only 33% of the women had.”

Daily Habits You Can Start Now to Nurture a Culture of Diversity

Baratang Miya, Founder of Girlhype Coders and Uhuru Spaces, clearly defines ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’, shows what they look like in the workplace and outlines four ways everyone in an organisation can contribute to a diverse and inclusive company culture.

Baratang draws on her experience as a Black woman in tech to provide thoughtful, actionable insights on creating more inclusive spaces. For example, seemingly unimportant actions like knowing everyone’s names and greeting make a tangible difference to the daily experiences of people in the workplace.

How Companies Made Me Feel Supported as a Woman in Tech

Ana França, a full stack developer in the Netherlands, explains why specific company initiatives and actions meant she felt less alone, and more supported, as a developer who has often been the only woman in her team.

A big part of inclusivity is ensuring people feel comfortable to say when they’re comfortable and uncomfortable. So, it’s especially important to listen to women developers and what matters to them when trying to be more gender-inclusive.

Ana outlines many great approaches—some of which are pretty simple and easy to implement, like making sure job adverts are written in a way that encourages women to apply.

Tips for Hiring and Growing Women Software Engineers

Thalia Pillay, a full stack software engineer at Stitch, highlights how companies can make their hiring practices more gender-inclusive.

As we know, there are far fewer women in tech than men. As we climb the seniority ladder, this becomes even more pronounced. Thalia looks at ways companies can support and grow women engineers to ensure they’re trying to bridge that gender gap.

As a woman of colour developer, Thalia uses her experience of interviewing and working in tech to inform her approach to hiring. Based on her experience and research, she goes through the hiring pipeline from employer branding and outreach all the way to creating an environment that helps more women developers reachsenior tech positions.

Larabelles and Inclusivity in the Laravel community

A 13-minute video where Zuzana Kunckova explains the origins of the Larabelles, a community for women, trans and non-binary Laravel developers. Zuzana, Jess Archer, Diana Scharf, Matt Stauffer and Laravel creator Taylor Otwell, speak about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the Laravel community.

As Jess notes, it would be great if there weren’t a need for a mini minority community within the Laravel community, but we’re simply not there. The aim of groups like the Larabelles is to get to a place where we don’t have minority communities within communities.

Larabelles started because Zuzana couldn’t find a supportive community for herself, a Muslim woman with children who started coding in her 30s. By creating the Larabelles, she hopes to create a space to encourage women, trans and non-binary developers.

As Thalia notes in her piece, creating spaces for women in tech is a great way to mentor junior developers and provide support for them to grow into senior developers. Both Thalia and Ana mentioned how important it was for them to have other women to lean on, highlighting the importance of community.

Making sure that people are aware of spaces like this serves to encourage and support those who might not have found a community yet.

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