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The importance of diversity in male-dominated industries

By William Adamthwaite

Traditionally male-dominated industries, such as technology and engineering, have long faced criticism for their lack of diversity. With just 26% of the UK’s current tech workforce being women, it’s clear to see this sector is far from being a level playing field – so there’s no surprise that leaders are becoming increasingly aware of the shift in diversity that needs to happen.  

Time for a cultural change 

One of the main reasons for this increase in the demand for diversity in male-dominated industries is the changing demographics of the workforce. As more women enter these fields, it is essential for companies to welcome and value their contributions. A diverse workforce brings a wide range of perspectives, ideas and skills to the table, which can in turn lead to increased innovation and creativity… 

Not only does gender diversity bring a change to culture, but business also reaps the rewards. Studies have shown that companies with diverse teams tend to outperform those without in terms of revenue, profits, and stock price – the proof is in the pudding as in the UK, every 10% increase in gender diversity brings a 3.5% increase in earnings.  

Additionally, diverse teams are better at problem-solving and decision-making, which are critical skills in today’s competitive business environment. 

However, simply having a diverse workforce is not enough 

Companies in male-dominated industries must create an inclusive culture where all employees feel valued and respected. True empowerment of women is needed within the workplace to enable businesses to truly become diverse from a gender perspective. It is not enough to simply hire more women – businesses really need to focus in on things such as delivering unconscious bias training, improving parental leave policies, providing flexible working in creative ways such as summer hours, core hours and job sharing.  

There also needs to be a focus on reducing the gender wage gap and truly encouraging behaviours such as empathy, compassion and collaboration which will make the organisation blossom. 

It’s important to implement this business-wide too. With just 3% of CTO roles, and a miniscule 0.3% of CFO roles being held by women, creating true gender diversity is much more than just ticking boxes by hiring women at lower-levels. 

So, how does this impact recruitment in the space?  

As recruiters, we see every day just how quickly the talent landscape – and the opinions those within it hold – can change. In recent years, we’ve seen a shift in what candidates are looking for in a company – it’s no longer all about the money! Nowadays, the companies we find most desirable in the eyes of candidates are those who value their employees and create positive, inclusive working environments. 

To conclude, creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is essential in ensuring success in today’s business landscape. Promoting this diversity, especially in male-dominated industries, is not only a moral imperative but an absolute business necessity, with companies that fail to recognise this risking losing out on top talent.