2021 has been a busy year here at Cutover. We’ve grown immensely, taking our team from 95 to 204 (and counting!) employees over the year across the UK and USA. As we take a look back at everything we have achieved over the past twelve months, one success, in particular, stands out through this growth. We’re not fans of value metrics, and we believe our words should turn into actions. At the beginning of the year, we wanted to make an impact on the diversity of our tech teams, particularly in the area of gender.
As lockdowns have ceased and the freedom of a remote-first world beckons, the “Big Quit” or “Great Resignation” has been much commented on; triggering a recruiting frenzy and turning the job market on its head. Although many are happily switching and leaving their current positions for pastures new, research from the charity WomanKind Worldwide suggests that not all are experiencing this pandemic-charged change positively. In the formal job market, women are having, not choosing, to leave their roles at 1.8 times the rate of men, as women are disproportionately impacted by times of great economic upheaval.
This is on top of an industry already struggling to attract, employ, and retain women in its workforce.
From PwC’s latest report on women in tech, the stats are clear:
78% of students can’t name a famous woman working in technology (yet we all know of Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, etc.)
16% of women have had a career in technology suggested to them, compared to 33% of men.
Only 23% of those in STEM roles in the UK are women.
This final figure of 23% was not what we wanted to see in the make-up of our tech team when we came to the end of 2021. Instead, we are delighted to share that with time, patience, and effort, we have smashed this industry average into the dust, and can say that 43% of our new hires in STEM roles this year were women.
As the stats above demonstrate, the importance of having female role models for others within your organization cannot be underestimated, and it’s a huge part of how we have managed to improve our diversity in this area. We have hired women at all levels from senior to junior, and we have also taken on female engineers at the very beginning of their careers, having recently graduated from institutions such as Makers academy (check out one of our Makers grad’s thoughts on her journey into engineering here).
Throughout our entire recruiting lifecycle we have also taken several steps to encourage diversity within our pipelines. We have endeavored to maintain gender neutrality in our job descriptions, gender balanced our interview panels where possible (this became easier as our new hires began to join!) and educated all those involved in our interview processes on unconscious biases and their impact on hiring, amongst other initiatives.
Though we have made amazing progress the job’s not done! Throughout 2022 we will be continuing on our mission to close the gender gap and encourage more women into tech. This time next year hopefully we will be celebrating a 50/50 balance of genders on our teams, among other diversity and inclusion areas.