Over the past few decades, huge strides have been made when it comes to women in the workforce. According to a report by Catalyst, women make up nearly half (46.9%) of the total workforce globally. Unfortunately, the ICT sector is still lagging behind, with women representing a much smaller percentage of workers in this industry.
According to PWC, women currently hold 19% of tech-related jobs at the top 10 global tech companies, relative to men who hold 81%. In leadership positions at these global tech giants, women make up 28%, with men representing 72%. In Europe, only 17% of ICT specialists are women. Women in the ICT sector earn 19% less than men in the EU, and 46% of women have reported that they have experienced discrimination. A report by Atomico on gender composition by job title for Executive-level positions found just 1 female Chief Technology Officer out of a sample of 175 in the European tech sector.
Locally, we are doing much better, but there is still a long way to go. Initiatives like the UN women empowerment principles, which EOH is a signatory of, are helping to promote equality in the workplace, but while these types of programmes promote education, training and professional development for women, as well as high-level corporate leadership that is gender equal, many companies are still not investing enough in the changes that need to happen to create truly equitable workplaces.
At EOH, we are constantly working towards achieving our goals in creating an inclusive workplace. From campaigns tailored to uplift female team members, to Lean-in Circles, fully paid maternity leave and leadership development programmes targeting women leaders, we regularly enable the important conversations that will lead to equal representation. For example, we recently held a roundtable on gender diversity that allowed our executive team to engage on the topic, with extremely good results.
In fact, our executive team has been driving many of the changes we have implemented across the company recently, which have had a big impact on the lives of our female employees. We have built support structures for the women in the company, and are actively engaged in talent management and succession planning to ensure we empower our women throughout their careers.
In the past year, 41% of all the promotions within the company were women, with 335 women reaching the next stage of their career path at EOH. We are extremely proud of our achievements, and we will not rest on our laurels. We currently have 45% women in our headcount and 36% women in leadership positions, with female representation growing throughout the company – from the board down. Our inclusion, diversity and equity policy is working, and we have a strategy in place to ensure that this number grows significantly. At the heart of our agenda is to break down social and structural exclusion. It is our responsibility to make the workplace better for our girl children, and I am proud to be a part of an organisation that is actively working towards true equality.
Malisha Awunor is the HR Director of EOH