It’s no secret that the IT sector is facing a talent shortage. Eight out of ten companies struggle with recruitment*. As highlighted during Master Dev France 2023, the professions most affected by this shortage mainly include software developers, Product Owners, Tech Leads… We also know that women are underrepresented in the digital sector and even less so in technical roles (less than 20% of women in IT roles*).
At the same time, there are still very few young girls choosing the path of science and computer science. Furthermore, since the reform of the general and technological baccalaureate and high school in France, there has been a 28% decrease in female students in the sciences (between 2019 and 2021**).
Turning the Issue into a Growth Opportunity
What can we do as a company to promote diversity in the sector? When talking to our interns and apprentices, we quickly realize that they are often the few, and sometimes the only, women in a class predominantly composed of men. So, let’s start there. If we want to see more women in the tech sector, they must first choose suitable training.
That’s why we launched the OUTSCALE for Women initiative in 2020. The goal? To introduce young girls (in middle schools, high schools, and colleges) the IT sector and prove that these careers are also for them.
Our employees are sensitized, and we have created a dedicated team that works on topics related to the professional development of female employees and participates in activities organized with schools and our partner associations such as Elles bougent and Femmes Ingénieures.
Talking to young girls is important, but let’s not forget about women who want to change careers today. Many of them want to join the IT sector, and the path is not always easy.
The Women4Tech initiative precisely addresses this issue. The goal is to help women looking to change jobs by offering them internships and apprenticeships within our teams. Why internships and apprenticeships instead of permanent positions, you may ask? First, because we are still in the early stages of this initiative. Second, because people often follow short-term training programs of a few months, which may not provide them with the immediate skills to be operational. Therefore, it’s essential for them to gradually acquire skills. Internships and apprenticeships are good means to achieve that. Finally, because recruiting people requires training time and support from the teams and HR department.
Concrete Actions through Advocacy and Partnerships
Beyond internal awareness campaigns, we welcomed interns to introduce them to the Cloud sector.
Last year, we hosted the first virtual Open Doors Day with several training organizations. It brought together more than 200. Following this event, and as part of Women4Tech, we hired 3 interns in our development teams and 2 apprentices in our Networks and IT teams. One of the interns was hired on a permanent basis after her internship, and one intern continues as an apprentice.
Our recruits from the Women4Tech program
We organized a panel discussion dedicated to women in Cybersecurity in collaboration with Cisco. Four professionals shared their journeys, daily experiences, and vision for a more inclusive future for the industry and Cyber careers.
At the initiative of the Elles bougent association, we also participated in Elles bougent for career. This was to connect with high school girls and to present the career opportunities and training programs.
We invite our employees to share their stories through personal testimonials:
If we want to see more women pursuing technical training and hire more of them, we must talk even more about our professions, and work hand in hand with training organizations, associations, and other companies.
The challenge is huge, but together, we raise our voices and make a difference!