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Workplace changes called for to place more women in IT jobs

 

Wanted: Nontraditional candidates

At Schneider Electric, 40% of IT executives reporting to the CIO are women, said Amy deCastro, vice president of human resources for IT at the France-based global energy management company. The IT organization as a whole, though, is just 27% female, so the bench is not deep — but “we’re making progress,” deCastro said.

Putting more women in IT jobs is a top personnel goal at Schneider. The company recently launched an “unconscious bias” program for hiring managers and have asked talent recruiters to make sure there is a certain number of female candidates during initial resume reviews. And the CEO, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, has worked with the United Nations on diversity programs and in 2015 was recognized for putting in place policies designed to help women advance in the workplace.

“When we see the leadership walking the talk, it’s much easier then to get the organization to grab on to that,” deCastro said.

Jim O’Neill, who goes by “entrepreneur in residence,” evaluates workplace and workforce technologies at HubSpot. The Cambridge, Mass., software marketing company was born digital, so it competes for talent with higher-paying, household-name giants like Google and Facebook by touting career-growth opportunities for Millennial workers. It has also made searching for a diversity of candidates a priority.

“We look for talent that is nontraditional, because if we just look we’re going to find people that look like me,” O’Neill said.

Eric Sigurdson said organizations looking to his employer, executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates, for help in finding talent also want gender and ethnic diversity in candidates.

“Some of our clients even go so far as to say they only want to see diversity candidates,” said Sigurdson, a managing director at the firm who recruits IT execs. “We’re not allowed to do that.”

 

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