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IWD 2020 interview: Smart WFM's Candice Lloyd

08 Mar 2020

As a celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re running a series of interviews with women in technology. Smart WFM's specialist lead Candice Lloyd shares her thoughts.

What does the tech industry need to do to attract more women?

Smart WFM touches a number of different industries, including human resources, payroll, workforce management and technology – some are better represented by women, such as HR, but others are lacking behind.

In my experience, it comes down to culture and perceptions. Many people still either consciously or subconsciously hold the opinion that women are more suited to industries such as HR and marketing, and less so to industries like technology. That perception needs to disappear for real progress to be made.

Business leaders and organisations as a whole need to think about the language they’re using, the conversations that happen at the watercooler, how existing staff are treated day to day and how prospective staff are treated in the hiring process. If there are biases intertwined in these areas then they need to be made aware of and subsequently removed.

What does the tech industry need to do to encourage more female leadership?

Even in many female-dominated industries generally, more senior positions tend to be occupied by men. We need to see industry support to ensure women can get to senior positions and then operate to their potential within them.

That can mean many different things, including workplace and time flexibility, policies that enable senior leaders’ partners to be more involved in domestic duties still largely left to women or different kinds of annual leave policies.

While many exist, we also need more education programs to show women the various paths towards senior leadership and highlight how, with the right workplace policies in place, they can succeed and be supported in these roles.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

As a millennial, I think it’s important that organisations take into consideration the personal passions staff have. That isn’t to say every company should take a stand one way or the other on every major issue – different staff will have different opinions and priorities and we should embrace that diversity – but there should be policies in place to enable staff have the ability to follow their passions.

For people who want to help tackle climate change for example, can organisations consider programs where staff could get involved, or perhaps allow time off to take part in climate change or awareness initiatives.

I feel this is becoming a bigger issue for today’s workforce, and something companies across industries would do well to embrace.