In the tech & IT sectors, there is a perception that the industry is associated with men, mostly because from a young age, men are more inclined to follow an education in technical fields. However, recently, more and more organizations and companies have taken steps to attract more women in this area, and the results are already showing. Spearheading this cause is Endava, whose People Experience Manager Alina Soare was present at BR’s Inspiring Voices #EqualFuture conference and shared some of her insights on the matter.
What does gender equality mean in tech and how is Romania doing in this respect?
Looking back a few generations, there has been a tendency for men to be more inclined to follow a tech profile during school, as well as in their chosen profession in adulthood. At the same time, historically, women would be seen moving more towards the humanities.
“What I can say is that we are seeing a change in this area, and indeed more and more women are moving into the tech & IT area, which is a positive thing for us. As a country, we are doing well in this area. According to Eurostat, we rank second at a European level in terms of the number of women working in the technical field. However, the proportion is 26%. So, in this statement we can see two very different perspectives: it’s good to hear that we are in 2nd place but looking at the percentage of just 26% we can see it is still quite low. Clearly, we still have a long way to go, and we can do a lot to increase this trend. Indeed, at the moment, we can see more men in certain more senior roles.” says Alina Soare.
As for Endava, in terms of gender parity, Alina Soare says the numbers are above both the European and Romanian average. “Globally we have around 35% female Endavans, locally even more, around 40% of our people are female, which we are happy about. 42% of our people in graduate and entry-level technical roles are women. This is a good sign that the trend is changing and that soon we will be able to talk about gender equality in terms of women and men’s interest in the technical area. Of course, this means that we also must be actively involved, and we cannot rely only on the trend moving in a certain direction. The tides can shift at any moment if left unchecked. Our WeCare approach is designed to ensure the number of women in tech continues to grow.”
When did Endava start implementing gender equality strategies and what were the main strategies?
“Formally, our WeCare approach has been in place, for over 18 months now but, if we look back, it has always been a priority for Endava. We are committed to achieving greater gender equity by increasing the number of women in leadership and governance roles across Endava and contributing to the broader technology and services industry through our partnerships with schools, colleges, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on programmes that encourage young women to discover a career in technology. This year, we are partnering with Save the Children to support 100 girls and young women from disadvantaged communities to explore a career in technology through a four-module coding programme, each taking place over five weeks. At the end of the course, participants will be able to create a digital solution.
We have also participated in events like TedX Women, which are aimed at a much wider audience, not just tech. Indeed, in recent years it has become an increasing priority. As Endava has evolved as an organization, our approach to diversity has evolved, this year we established the Endava Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (D&I) Forum. Underpinned by our values, the Forum aims to bring together a broad and varied group of people from across Endava to drive and deliver sustainable organisational inclusion, champion inclusion initiatives, and help position Endava as an employer that is representative of the societies we live in and serve. The Forum has six workstreams, gender balance, disability, race and religion, sexual orientation, and gender reassignment (LGBTQ+) families, parenthood and pregnancy, age and social mobility.
Endava’s We Care approach is designed to bring our sustainability mission to life. We have determined the key pillars that reflect this, which are underpinned by our core purpose and values, making it easy for clients and other stakeholders to understand our ESG priorities, as well as the actions we are taking. The strategy reflects our robust approach and solid achievements around Innovation & Data Integrity and Operating Responsibly, which are critical to the growth of our business, as well as the focus on areas directly connected to our purpose – Our People and Social Impact. It also captures our increasingly ambitious Environmental Impact agenda to ensure we are living up to our responsibilities.” Explains Alina Soare.
“As part of this approach, we had multiple initiatives. To name a few, we organized The Women in Tech Panel, Endava’s Women’s week which brought together leaders from our global business to share their career tips on how to be the best we can be. Our panellists discussed the importance of gender equity, the best way for women to navigate the world of technology and how to thrive in an inclusive environment.
Other initiatives include Endava Inclusion Week, dedicated to discovering more about diversity, difference and inclusivity, supporting our commitment to being an inclusive community. Over 3,000 attendees from across our business joined masterclasses encouraging us all to reflect on how to be more inclusive and compassionate and Endava’s Wellbeing, an award-winning programme supporting our people’s health and wellness through virtual workshops and a wealth of interactive digital resources.
We were extremely proud of the level of conversation started by these initiatives, and we look forward to continue sharing initiatives that support these important discussions.” Alina Soare concluded.