Marina Andrejchenko – stock.adob
Campaign #MumsWhoCode, made up of Code First Girls and the MotherBoard Movement, has published a list of tech firms making an effort to support employees with families
Published: 20 Apr 2023 15:02
Code First Girls and the MotherBoard Movement have partnered to launch the #MumsWhoCode campaign aimed at recognising technology employers that are supporting new parents.
By pointing out firms that offer good maternity and paternity leave policies, the campaign hopes to encourage other employers to adopt similar policies to begin tackling disparities, such as the tech industry’s gender pay gap.
Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls, said: “The tech industry has been a boys’ club for far too long, but that’s all starting to change. While there’s still a glaring gender gap in tech, the dial is shifting, and more women are recognising and seeking out the amazing opportunities careers in tech can bring.
“But to protect and accelerate that progress, tech companies must ensure they have policies in place that are inclusive of employees at all stages of their life. Caring responsibilities for parents bring new challenges that can widen gender inequality over time. We’re thrilled to celebrate #MumsWhoCode and the companies that are supporting them to do so with their leading maternity and paternity policies.”
The pandemic was particularly difficult for working parents to navigate, highlighting the burden of care placed on women that made it more difficult for them to work during lockdowns than their male counterparts. Many claim the pandemic served to worsen gender pay gaps.
This disparity existed before the pandemic, however, with men outnumbering women in the technology sector. In addition, recent research from Hired found a gender wage gap of 2.8% in the UK’s technology sector.
Anna Brailsford, Code First Girls
According to Code First Girls, 19% of its members believe career breaks, such as maternity leave, may be the reason many women in tech are behind their male counterparts when it comes to career opportunities – women are less likely than men to make it to higher, better-paying positions within a business, meaning they are more likely to earn less.
Around 14% also said organising family life while also trying to work was a challenge that impacts women’s career development.
The #MumsWhoCode campaign showcased employers that offer benefits such as flexible working or office childcare, as well as firms that offer either six months of paid maternity leave or four months of paid paternity leave.
Companies highlighted by the #MumsWhoCode campaign as having good maternity leave policies were:
- Goldman Sachs
- Transport for London
- Willmot Dixon
Companies highlighted by the #MumsWhoCode campaign as having good paternity leave policies were:
- Deutsche Bank
- American Express
Code First Girls and the MotherBoard Movement highlighted some of the policies they thought were particularly helpful.
One of these was Thales offering leave for fertility treatment, along with a return-to-work programme designed to mentor new mothers.
Another was Ford giving 52 weeks of statutory maternity leave no matter how long the mother has been at the company, along with an entitlement to a partial reimbursement of NCT Parent Craft Class fees.
Also highlighted was the government agency Defence Science and Technology Laboratory offering job sharing and flexi-time, as well as the opportunity to work from home or remote locations.
Policies like these aimed at making it easier for employees to balance their work and family lives could retain women in the technology sector and reduce the drop-off of women at a certain point in their tech careers.
Sophie Creese, founder of MotherBoard, said: “The tech industry has an ongoing issue with retaining women. With more women entering the industry, we are seeing glimmers of hope that gender diversity is improving.
“However, with 50% of women leaving the tech industry around childbearing age, we need to tackle this drop-off point of skilled women leaving the industry if we want to improve gender disparity at all seniority levels. By offering good maternity and paternity leave policies, companies showcase their value on parenthood, and we’re very pleased to spotlight those that are leading the way.”
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