HR rates poorly in supporting women in IT sector

Human resources (HR) departments are less supportive to women in IT than line managers and colleagues, a survey by Microsoft and Womenintechnology.co.uk claims

The survey found that when asked to rate the support they received as a female employee, respondents saw HR departments as the least supportive area with only 39 per cent rating them as good or excellent. This compares poorly with other groups such as line management (47 per cent); direct boss (57 per cent); colleagues (60 per cent), and juniors (51 per cent).

Some 28 per cent of respondents rated HR departments less than 'OK', as opposed to 19 per cent for line managers and bosses; 11 per cent for colleagues, and 17 per cent for juniors.

"It's all very well for HR departments to have diversity policies in place but this has to be more than just ticking boxes," says Maggie Berry, director of womenintechnology.co.uk. "Almost two-thirds of respondents to our survey claimed that the content of a prospective employer's diversity policy would be an 'important factor' in their decision whether to join."

Berry adds: "Obviously all parents should have access to flexible working and other benefits, but what came out of some of the comments in our survey was that there is a perception that women who take advantage of these policies or benefits would be seen as 'weak'. Consequently, HR departments need to adopt a universal approach and encourage more male uptake, which would avoid damaging womens' 'brand' within an organisation." www.womenintechnology.co.uk

Image: Women in IT respondents saw HR departments as the least supportive area

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