Connect CEO Mark MacGregor says it’s notoriously difficult to find staff in the IT industry so to ignore the needs of female staff is akin to shooting yourself in the foot. “You’re basically cutting off nearly 50 per cent of your workforce,” he says.
MacGregor says Connect has made some internal changes to “make sure the relatively small number of women we do have are appreciated”.
“For example, we have a break-out games room for staff to use. It has a big screen and a Nintendo box – that’s fine for a certain type of person but it’s not fine for everyone. So, we now have a quiet room where people can go and read, it has flowers in it and reading material.
“We also looked at our employment practices and have introduced things like child care vouchers and we’ve made arrangements with a nursery for a crèche.”
In addition, Connect has formed what it calls the “Google Girls” group, which is for female IT engineers. MacGregor explains: “They meet on a regular basis and do things together; they also mentor each other.”
“We try to make sure that, internally, what we’re doing is maximising the chances of retaining the women we’ve got.”