How women could solve the technology industry’s talent drought

The technology industry is facing a severe talent crunch, with an estimated 85.2 million unfilled software developer job vacancies projected by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the number of vacancies having exceeded 40 million in 2021, according to a report by SaaS company Trienpont International.  This staggering shortage poses a major risk to companies worldwide, potentially leading to revenue losses exceeding a whopping $8.4 trillion.

As the demand for coding talent intensifies, companies are being pushed to think outside the box and broaden their talent pipelines beyond traditional sources. Mvelo Hlophe, CEO of edtech company Zaio, believes that women could be the answer to this crisis.

“The tech industry remains overwhelmingly male-dominated, with only 8.12% of software developers worldwide being female,” Hlophe said, citing a 2022 Statista survey. “It’s an absolute no-brainer for companies to actively recruit more women into coding roles to simultaneously address the skills gap and foster a more inclusive environment.”

Hlophe’s company, Zaio, has implemented innovative strategies to attract and retain female talent in the developer workforce. One approach is leveraging accessible platforms like TikTok to create bite-sized educational videos that pique young women’s interest in coding, even if they lack access to computers.

“While many young women don’t have access to a computer, they often have access to a mobile phone,” Hlophe explained. “Once they watch our videos and show an interest in learning to code, they can usually find a way to borrow a laptop until they can purchase one.”

Representation within the technology industry is another key focus area for Zaio. By incorporating more inclusive imagery in their marketing campaigns and partnering with influential women in tech, the company aims to inspire and create role models for aspiring female developers.

However, recruitment is only the first step. Hlophe acknowledges that retention remains a significant challenge, with women leaving the technology sector at an alarming rate despite companies’ efforts to improve gender diversity.

“The end goal is not just to recruit female talent but also to retain them,” Hlophe emphasized. “Tech companies must cultivate an environment that supports women’s success by removing barriers to career advancement, addressing pay gaps, promoting work-life balance, and completely eliminating gender bias and harassment.”

As the tech industry grapples with the developer skills shortage, Zaio’s innovative approach to attracting and retaining women in coding roles could provide a much-needed solution. By tapping into this underrepresented talent pool and fostering an inclusive culture, companies may not only address their talent needs but also drive innovation through diverse perspectives.

Read next: Cape Town Welcomes Amazon Web Services (AWS) Skills Center



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