IWD2019: resuming with a resumé gap

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we will be publishing content on women, their experiences and the need to balance for better. We hope you enjoy it.

Women make up more than 50 per cent of the population and despite a 70 per cent growth in information and communications technology (ICT) jobs since 1996, women account for only 16 per cent of ICT roles, 26.2 per cent of board roles on the ASX200 and just 10 per cent of CEO feeder roles. 

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However, research from The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows women account for 70 per cent of primary unpaid carers for children and 56 per cent for the elderly and people with a disability or health condition. 

"The barriers for re-entry are high - especially after taking a career break to have children.”

These bare statistics highlight an opportunity to provide more support to women to help them re-enter, remain and succeed in technology and leadership roles.

Put simply, the tech industry needs more women but the barriers for re-entry are high - especially after taking a career break to have children.

As Asha Vade, Agile Program Manager, Intuit India, explains, the “resumé gap” can cause stress or anxiety for women returning to work.

“I could always pinpoint the exact moment of disappointment in the middle of a job interview, when the interviewer would discover the gap in my resumé,” she said.

“They would ask ‘how are you going to get back up to speed?’ The change in tone was palpable. I was no longer a candidate, I was a liability.”

To help combat the perceived skills gap, companies all over the world are looking to explore innovative and non-traditional approaches to help women get back into the workforce.

ANZ has designed a Return to Work program focusing on helping participants confidently make the transition back to the workforce in the technology division by providing flexible work options together with a learning and development framework centred on confidence building and support structures.

The secret ingredient is leaders. Leaders are recognising that in order to encourage more women in tech, it is critical to design for diversity. That means defining all roles as flexible and truly recognising the value and skills working parents provide.

Carina Parisella is Innovation Editor at bluenotes

ANZ’s Return to Work program opens for applications on International Women’s Day on 8 March 2019. You can find out more here.  

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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