The benefits of parity in a technical team and how to get there

  • user
  •  24.05.2021
  •  6 MIN

A large number of leaders are convinced that, while the women's cause is obviously a moral issue, in a very pragmatic way, it is also a lever for performance, growth and productivity. Especially when it comes to developing a consumer product or solution, intended for the entire population.


The subject of parity has been at the heart of concerns for several years in the world of tech recruiting. The advantages of a mixed team of men and women are many.


A shortage of female profiles on the market

Everyone knows - and recruiters first - it is difficult to find female profiles in a market that is still 80% dominated by men. Even if we find a balance of parity on profiles such as Product Manager, Data Analyst, UI / UX.


There is still a significant shortage of back-end developers (especially in Python and Java technologies). At Urban Linker, we see barely 10-15% of female applications on these profiles. We still have a long way to go.


Why ? Because if the sector is evolving and gradually becoming more feminine - notably with training centers or bootcamps for retraining profiles - these technologies are not or very little studied. And it is not in 3 months of training that you can train in technos such as Python.

“It's very complicated for us to recruit female profiles on Python, because there are few candidates. On the other hand, I see more and more Fullstack profiles on PHP and JS and on Data analyst or scientist profiles, our recruitments are 50/50. ”, Vincent Paulin, CTO at Selency


A brake that is so often mentioned by the candidates we interview is the impostor or good student syndrome. When faced with job openings, women would expect to have between 70-80% of the necessary skills to apply. Where men apply for a position, with an average of 50-60% of the required qualities (at least on the CV), female profiles seek to tick all the boxes.

“For me, women are more thorough, they will go more after things and organize themselves better. It’s an important addition to a tech team. In France, we have a shortage of profiles on the market but in Russia for example, there are many more women in tech, especially in the back-end. ”, Vincent Delaitre, Co-founder and CTO at Deepomatic, who has composed of a 40% female tech team on a dozen profiles.


“Women will respond to an ad if they see they tick all the boxes, while men are more aggressive. I put less skills in hard skills so as not to penalize candidates. ”, Jade Le Maître, CTO at Emanigeurs


A virtuous circle to promote innovation

It is important for projects to have multiple points of view, to feed teams on issues and how to solve them. Working in a mixed technical team is rewarding on both sides.


Diversity is a powerful lever for innovation. Bringing together different and complementary minds fosters creativity and therefore fuels performance. It's a virtuous circle, as with gender diversity.

“As CTO and manager, I'm looking for harmony for a good dynamic, with slightly different backgrounds to mix points of view. This is important in terms of overall diversity, whether in terms of origins, gender or educational background. I am also looking for a mix of atypical and neuro-atypical people. ”, Jade Le Maître


For years we have been using a product that is not suitable for half the population. One of the best known examples on the market is the seat belt. A product designed by and for men. The product does not take into account the density of women, the fact that women can be pregnant ... Some manufacturers are working on these issues, but with decades of delay. If you want to know more about these “failures” or anomalies, Le Point has produced a full article on the subject.


Another example of a health application - which has now evolved its product - measuring and monitoring users' weight gain, without taking into account female pregnancies. We operate in a diverse market, made up of different personas. Companies whose teams do not represent this diversity may be missing out on opportunities.

“I have worked in companies with an absolute mix and in product construction, the approaches are more built with both angles. It's a real "gamechanger" for the rhythm of the team, good cohesion, because life is a balance. And in the end, it allows us to channel more things and have a healthy balance. ”, Vincent Paulin


A higher turnover for male profiles

We observe with the recruitments and interviews carried out at Urban Linker, that female profiles tend to stay longer in companies. The ratio is on average + 20-30% of time spent in the same entity (mainly in startups). A statistic that can make it even more difficult for recruiters to attract these profiles.

“A lower turnover for female profiles makes the seduction part more complicated. I am careful with the wording of the ad to avoid "looking for the god of the code" for example, a term that women would not feel involved in. ", Jade Le Maître


The most sought-after soft skills for tech teams

Being able to express yourself well and explain things clearly: this is an essential skill in a technical team. We call it emotional intelligence. Female profiles will be more attentive and sensitive to feedback from others to ensure good communication. Especially if the technical team needs to communicate with customers or other internal departments, this skill will be in high demand.


Other skills are required by recruiters, such as organization, the thoroughness of clearly defined and organized work, deadlines respected, optimal productivity ... These qualities are often dominant among women.


Team spirit - because developers increasingly rarely code on their own. It is important to be able to establish and maintain good internal cohesion.

"We are looking for profiles in interview who have the same values ​​as Deepomatic, namely the notions of benevolence, honesty, humility and ambition (we call them the 3 Hs - Honesty, Humility, Hungry)." Vincent Delaitre


What are the brakes for employers?

The sector is evolving and startups and SMEs are looking to recruit more female profiles. But the reality of the market obliges them to review their copy in certain cases, for example on profiles with 6-8 years of experience or on specific technologies (back-end). Companies that absolutely seek to achieve exemplary parity must redouble their efforts to attract and retain these female profiles, which are still in short supply.

"When I'm looking for a back-end profile, it's a minimum 6-month recruitment process, it's hard to source and it can be a real obstacle course.", Vincent Delaitre


On the other hand, on confirmed profiles of 3-4 years, the trend is less true and the applications are more numerous.

“Accessibility to development has helped the feminization of the market, although there is still a long way to go. You have to be more and more sexy to attract female profiles and sometimes spend more time on applications. ”, Vincent Paulin


Having one or two profiles already integrated into a team will also help attract more applications. It's a bit like choosing a restaurant, you will want to go where there are people. It is important for these candidates to be reassured about the good integration of a team and to integrate a benevolent work environment. Companies still have a long way to go on these points.

“Internally, paternity leave has been extended to offer male employees 1 and a half months instead of the statutory 2 weeks. For us, parity goes both ways. ”, Vincent Delaitre


Rely on the community to find profiles

There are more and more associations, foundations or groups working to feminize the digital sector. Especially in a penury market, word of mouth remains a powerful tool for attracting female profiles. This is why asking these organizations to run your ads internally can be of great help.


  • Some national organizations: Elles Bougent, Femmes @ numérique, Girlz in web (an association promoting and valuing women in digital technology and new technologies), StartHer ...
  • And of course the local communities: LDigital (foundation supporting women in digital professions in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes), Femmes du Digital Ouest (Nantes region) ...

You can find all the associations in France listed here.


A startup took a keen interest in the subject to create 50inTech, a kind of Welcome To The Jungle, but to find female profiles.

“We use 50intech to be able to find female profiles more easily. It’s easier if I compare the market 5 years ago. We have more communities of women in tech to evangelize and fight the stereotypes and preconceived ideas about back-end profiles. ”, Vincent Delaitre

Find female profiles

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