Damien Ross, Director Executive Engagement, Davidson Technology
Kate Lewin, Marketing Manager, Davidson
Sarah Morgan, Communications Manager, Davidson
There is much discussion and conjecture about the gender targets that businesses should be aiming for to develop a healthy, balanced and sustainable work environment. Some organisations are aiming for 50 per cent female participation while others are more pragmatic, aiming for 70/30.
To determine targets, businesses need information. Davidson Technology (part of the Davidson Group) developed the DiversIT Report to provide businesses with data to enable them to make informed decisions around their diversity targets.
Until now, there was no single source of information in the public domain that accurately determined how many people work in any one sector, their geographic location and their gender.
The best information we have at our disposal is from the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn. Davidson Technology worked with LinkedIn to harness its expertise and resources to provide an insight into the IT participation rates in Australia and representation of females in jobs.
This project was 12 months in the planning and was delivered by a team of three people.
In addition to the DiversIT Report, the Davidson Group is currently running the Top 50 Public Sector Women list. The Victorian Public Sector has a significant number of exceptional female leaders building high performing teams and transforming their communities. The Top 50 list will shine a spotlight on exceptional leaders, highlighting their work and creating role models for other females in the sector. Although not specific to IT, this initiative is another example of Davidson’s broader commitment to redress the gender diversity imbalance.
In 2015 in response to regular conversations with our clients around gender targets, Davidson Technology commenced research into the data available from existing sources that could provide information into the number of females in IT in Australia.
Davidson Technology contacted the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Computer Society, IBIS World, EY Sweeney Research, Females in IT and Vic ICT for Women to determine what data is collected and accessible. None of these bodies capture all of this data.
There was no single, comprehensive source of data to identify the number of females in IT in Australia, where they lived and the IT job type that they worked in.
Finally, after discussing the project with LinkedIn, we were able to access reports to deliver the best information available.
In collaboration with LinkedIn, Davidson Technology was able to access relevant data on a large scale to prepare the DiversIT Report 2016 – A study of the population of females in specific IT job types in Australia.
The Report provides businesses with a tool to make informed decisions when setting diversity targets and benchmark their activities against industry best practice.
The reports were developed by LinkedIn based on the information professionals provide on their LinkedIn profiles.
The research sample covered all people in Australia on LinkedIn that selected “Information Technology OR Product, Program OR Project Management” as their Job Function. Job Function and Job Types are self-selected, so represent the most appropriate description of roles as determined by each individual.
These results were then broken down by gender and state and rounded to the nearest thousand. LinkedIn does not capture gender specifically; however, it is able to run a program to decipher gender based on name. At times the gender of some names is indeterminable and these are reflected in our results.
The Report was launched in June 2016 and released to the market in four stages:
- Launched at an exclusive event for Davidson Technology clients.
- Targeted business development activities.
- Released key findings through a comprehensive PR plan
- Available on request
There wasn’t resistance as such however, Davidson Technology overcame the challenges associated with the lack of available data in the market. Information of this type is just not captured by any other source other than LinkedIn.
In June 2016 Davidson Technology released its first DiversIT Report and received very positive from businesses to the data.
Through the PR campaign, the Report featured in 20+ publications ranging from Recruitment and IT publications through to general media such as features in the Australian Financial Review, The Australian and Women’s Agenda. This highlighted the broad interest in the data.
Demand for the Report was significant.
As a result of the success of the initial Report, Davidson Technology has just released its second report in June 2017 which reports on the same data as 2016, as well as highlighting changes in the last twelve months.
We are still following up on these references and will have them through ASAP. Due to the end of financial year it's a tricky time to get people to turn this around in 48 hours.