Girls in Tech founder and CEO, Adriana Gascoigne, shares why her team set up a dedicated jobs board amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although Covid-19 has transformed work for many, it could be that women have been affected most. According to Adriana Gascoigne, founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, the pandemic poses a threat to gender equality in workplaces around the world.
Gascoigne created Girls in Tech more than 13 years ago. She was working in a Silicon Valley start-up at the time and was dismayed by the “boys’ club” she found there. Since then, Girls in Tech has grown to a global non-profit campaigning for diversity, inclusion and equality in the industry.
Girls in Tech has more than 70,000 members and various chapters in different countries, including an Irish group. It coaches companies on evolving their policies to include “women of all colours and backgrounds”, Gascoigne said.
Its latest initiative is a jobs board, developed in response to messages from tech companies saying they wanted to hire more women but didn’t know how to reach them.
“We want to deliver more opportunities to women who wish to pursue careers in technology,” Gascoigne explained. “Our goal with the jobs board is to help women find their perfect career match in tech. As Covid hit earlier this year, we hastened our launch because we saw the extraordinary need for both job posters and jobseekers.”
The impact of Covid on working women
Gascoigne believes that the pandemic has “disproportionately impacted” women. More women have had to leave the workforce because of it, she said, to care for families, take on additional household duties or homeschool their children.
“We’ve fought so hard for so long to end the gender gap, and Covid may erase those gains,” she said. To mitigate this, Gascoigne and her team have been calling on companies to hire contingent workers. These can “reinforce workforces”, she said, easing the burden Covid has placed on people “who are struggling to manage work and home obligations”.
When the jobs board launched in October of this year, Girls in Tech board member Janice Bryant Howroyd said: “Women risk losing decades of progress in the fight for workplace equality and this is especially true for those in technology, where the balance of power is already greatly misaligned.”
The jobs board is also a practical solution for the “record number of employees” that will be on sick leave at this time of the year, Gascoigne said: “We urge companies to take action now to beef up staffing so they are prepared for this scenario.
“With the workforce now working from home, there is an even greater pool of qualified candidates who are ready to step in and support full-time employees.
“Companies need to take a long view on this pandemic and make urgent moves like this to ensure women, and all employees, can remain in the workforce. It’s a small investment in the short term that will reap rewards for years – and decades – to come.”
The Girls in Tech jobs board
So, how does the new Girls in Tech jobs board work? It’s free for jobseekers, who can create tailored profiles that showcase their skills to potential employers. The search function lets them look for suitable roles, filtering by keyword, location and more, and apply for them directly. They can also customise job alerts and track their application history on the site.
For job posters, customisable packages are available based on each client’s needs. According to Gascoigne, they pay a small fee for job listings: “Posters can make company profiles shine through friendly and diverse photos, videos, messaging and an easy way for candidates to contact companies should they have any questions about the roles, the company culture, benefits and more.”
Girls in Tech will also promote the companies posting listings and the roles they’re looking to fill on social media. Posters can then get access to analytics on the board to “maximise the listing potential”.
If you’re thinking of paying the board a visit, Gascoigne said: “I encourage you to join our community so you can get noticed and find the career of your dreams.
“Whether you’re looking for your first job, making a career change, re-entering the workforce or are a seasoned executive, the Girls in Tech jobs board has something for everyone. We are posting new jobs from incredible companies daily.
“Technology historically defined a very specific type of company, but today technology is an essential skill needed to varying degrees by almost every individual in an organisation.”