International Women’s Day Theme ‘Break the Bias’ Resounds in Tech

Two-thirds of recruiters say women are being overlooked for tech roles.

Buffy Naylor, Senior Managing Editor

March 8, 2022

4 Min Read
International Womens Day 2022 - Break the Bias

Today is International Women’s Day, when the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women are celebrated. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

And nowhere is that acceleration needed more than in the tech industry.

Two-thirds of recruiters admit that bias, either unconscious or deliberate, is an issue when it comes to tech hiring. So says a joint survey by developer recruitment platform CodinGame and online technical interview platform CoderPad. CodinGame and CoderPad surveyed 4,000 tech recruiters from 131 countries around the globe.

Ingrained Bias vs. Talent

Despite efforts to attract more women into the tech sector, and make it more inclusive, less than a 20% of employees working in tech are female. And it’s clear that talented women are missing out on tech positions because of ingrained bias during the recruitment process.

To address the problem at the point of hiring, many recruiters are now actively taking steps to remove bias altogether, to ensure female tech talent isn’t overlooked. Fifty-seven percent of tech recruiters are ready to ditch the CV (curriculum vitae, which is far more comprehensive than a resume, listing achievements, awards, publications, etc.) Recruiters believe the CV can introduce bias into the hiring process.

Recruiters are turning instead to more objective hiring methods such as practical technical assessments and live coding interviews. These solutions help recruiters focus on candidate experience. This brings a layer of transparency and fairness to the hiring process and more accurately identifies tech talent.

More 42% of recruiters polled said they are already using or planning to use skills-based technical assessments to improve diversity.

Proactive Sourcing

Recruiters were also asked what other measures companies have implemented or plan to implement to improve diversity in tech recruitment. Thirty percent said they were proactively sourcing diverse candidates. More than a quarter (28%) have increased awareness of unconscious bias. Twenty-eight percent write inclusive job descriptions. And one-in-five have established diverse interview panels.

Many female developers do not take the traditional route to a tech career by studying a STEM subject at school. (The vast majority of STEM students are male.) For that reason, 80% of recruiters now actively hire developers from non-academic backgrounds. This makes opportunities available to female developers who are self-taught.

Of course, hiring more women is just one side of the equation. Tech companies must ensure there’s a support network that makes women want to stay. Mentoring programs and flexible working are proving to be especially valuable.

Much Further to Go


CoderPad’s Amanda Richardson

Amanda Richardson is CEO of CoderPad.

“Every day I’m proud of the progress the tech industry has made to create a more inclusive and diverse community,” she said. “And every day I continue to see how much further we need to go.

“For International Women’s Day, I hope everyone will ask a woman in their life how they can support her. Take time to get educated on the inequality that exists. Fight discrimination in and out of the workplace. It will take all of us to break the bias. Women can’t do it alone.”


CodinGame’s Aude Barra

Aude Barral is co-founder and chief commercial officer of CodinGame.“Despite the efforts the tech industry is making to become a more diverse and inclusive community, women remain widely underrepresented in IT roles,” she said. “And unconscious bias continues to be a major factor in women being overlooked when companies are recruiting for tech positions.

“Women should have the same opportunities as men to move forward in their tech careers. And it is proven that diverse companies perform better, have more engaged employees, hire stronger talent and retain workers better than companies that do not focus on diversity and inclusion.

“It’s crucial that bias during the hiring process is removed. International Women’s Day recognizes how crucial breaking the bias is if we are going to see equality and opportunities for women.

“Diversity is crucial in tech, and the benefits of a higher representation of women in tech teams are numerous. A better gender balance leads to a more creative and collaborative way of working within tech teams. It enables companies to create superior and safer products, considering everyone, not just one section of society.“

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Buffy Naylor or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Buffy Naylor

Senior Managing Editor, Channel Futures

Buffy Naylor is senior managing editor of Channel Futures. Prior to joining Informa (then VIRGO) in 2008, she was an award-winning copywriter and editor, then senior manager of corporate communications for an international leisure travel corporation and, before that, in charge of creative development and copywriting for a boutique marketing and public relations agency.

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