Will we see workplace trends emerge that can encourage more women into digital roles?

The pandemic has been causing us all to take stock of our lives. That’s also true in the workplace and as we look ahead the pace of digital change continues to be transformative

In an increasingly competitive jobs market, job seekers want roles with companies they connect with. From my perspective it’s very much about understanding worker needs and considering the employee experience.

This is certainly true when considering how to attract more women into tech jobs. According to statistics from WISE around 24% of those employed in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) industries are women.

When you consider that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation – increasing both customer expectations and reliance on digital channels – these skills are in demand and it’s clear we need to do more to persuade women to take up these roles.

So, what are employees looking for and what will be the key considerations in the months ahead?

Applying employee experience

Increasingly companies are realising if they want to make digital roles appealing to women they need to look beyond traditional job descriptions and consider how they can demonstrate they are a flexible and supportive employer.

This is a trend that will continue into 2022, as the pandemic once again requires more of us to work from home. It’s a pattern that we are all becoming familiar with, but it is clearly causing a seismic shift in working patterns and that’s set to continue.

Increasingly, job seekers are asking: ‘is this a company that’s willing to demonstrate it’s adaptable?’ The widespread use of Zoom, for example, means the office does not always have to be the focus. There’s a realisation home working can also be an attractive option for those juggling busy lifestyles and competing demands.

But the debate on hybrid working will move on in 2022. It’s going to all be about thinking about the opportunities it provides us with and how can we improve what we do because we’re working flexibly.

Boosting confidence

Women bring many skills to the workplace but they often undersell themselves and what they can do.

I understand what imposter syndrome feels like. Walking into meetings with senior leaders can be daunting, especially if there are far fewer women in the room.

In a sense, for me what’s key is getting to that point where you believe you deserve a seat at the table. To get there, more businesses need to look at how they can help women achieve their ambitions and in an ever-competitive jobs market this will remain an area of focus for many businesses in 2022.

Employees want to work in a supportive culture. Offering quality learning and development shows there are opportunities for career progression, while pairing up with a mentor can help to instill confidence and help navigate the ups and downs of the workplace.

Workplace culture

As we move into 2022 employees want to know what a business stands for and how those values will be applied to their roles.

The days when people were simply attracted to a role based on salary and perks has changed. Increasingly, potential employees want to know about an employer’s purpose and its values. Is volunteering and playing an active role in the communities it serves an important part of the ethos of a company?

For me, if workers see you as a relatable and agile employer then you are on the right track. After all, creating a supportive working environment not only makes sense for the employee but an engaged workforce delivers great customer service and is the cornerstone of a successful business.

About the Author

Carrie Wray is Interim Head of Technology at Leeds Building Society has played a key role in maturing service delivery at the Society at a time when the financial services sector is undergoing a huge transformation to meet changing customer needs. Her work is focused on delivering responsive, safe and secure solutions that ensures the Society offers great service and delivers on its purpose to put home ownership within reach of more people.

Featured image: ©Sergey Novikov