IT companies must do more to look after the wellbeing of female staff or risk losing key talent in the next 12 months, according to research.
The research from ICM, commissioned by Income Protection specialist Unum, found that 2 in 5 women in the IT sector (39%) had plans to leave their job in the next year, compared to just 15% of men. Workplace wellbeing was found to be an important factor in these decisions with only 39% of women in the sector saying they felt well looked after by their employer compared to 67% amongst their male counterparts.
This comes amidst growing concern about the need to attract more women to the tech sector. Currently only 17% of the UK's tech jobs are held by women and the number of female CIOs has remained static at 14% for the last decade.
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The research identified a number of elements that impact on perceptions of wellbeing. A full and comprehensive benefits package was considered important by 94% of women in the sector, as were reasonable working hours. Softer elements were also highlighted, including feeling empowered at work and a good relationship with line managers which were considered important by 100% and 89% of women in IT respectively.
'This research shows that IT companies face the very real risk of losing talented female workers if they don’t take steps to improve perceptions of wellbeing,' said Matt Fahy, CIO of Unum.
'With the recruitment of more women being a key priority, and an average staff turnover cost of£31,808 per employee in the sector, this is an issue tech businesses need to tackle now. One of the most tangible ways to do this is to provide a best practice employee benefits package, including long-term benefits like Income Protection which supports staff financially if they fall ill.'