Can the cloud close the gender pay gap?

Males in high-tech companies earn, on average, 25 percent more than women. Three-quarters of mid-level professional roles are male and only 13 percent of executives are female. Though the junior-level roles are more equally split, the lack of women in executive positions shows that there is a lack of progression for talented women in technology.

The gender pay gap is not an issue we can solve overnight. But you can help to change it, and here’s how.

The cloud enables flexible working

Almost half of mothers reduce their working hours to make time for their family. Another 51 percent of women say that being a working mother hinders their career progression, while only 16 percent of working fathers feel the same way.

The cloud has long since made remote and flexible working a reality, and the possibilities are still increasing. Office 365, for example, comes with communication software to keep remote employees connected and collaboration tools to enable co-authoring of documents from separate locations.

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On top of this, having a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), such as Azure Citrix VDI, means that a user’s desktop is hosted on a server rather than locally. With this, replicating an employee’s ‘office’ set up is simple. No matter the device or its location, employees can still access all the software and applications they use in the office.

This is freedom that has never existed before. And it’s opening up a massive opportunity for employees who struggle to make a full-time office position work for them. More than three-quarters of women surveyed by professional recruiter Robert Walters said that remote working opportunities were a top priority for women in technology. It is now a necessity for any business that wants to retain long-term staff.

The cloud supports digital fluency

According to Accenture’s ‘Get Equal in 2017’ report, there are three skills that form part of the solution to bridge the gender pay gap:

  • Digital fluency – the ability to use digital technology to communicate, work and develop further skills.
  • Career strategy – the ability to set high, but achievable, goals and make informed decisions regarding their career.
  • Tech immersion – the ability to further develop technical skills as quickly as men.

Combining the above skills has the potential to reduce the wage gap by 35 percent by 2030. The cloud can facilitate this.

What’s good for women is good for business

Companies may be wondering what impact these necessary changes might have on their bottom-line. The reality is that most of them are good for business, not just the women working there.

  • Three-quarters of millennials claim that remote working has a positive impact on productivity.
  • 57 percent of businesses  achieved their goal of increasing speed of access to technology without difficulty when migrating to the cloud.
  • 86 percent of businesses cite increasing infrastructure flexibility and agility as a key benefit of adopting cloud computing.
    Women make up half of the global population. They are as much an asset to any business as their male counterparts and it’s time their pay matched that. When businesses take steps to bridge the gender pay gap, they also show that they are one of the few committed to equality and innovation.

“Cloud Direct is passionate about attracting and supporting Women-in-Tech and we’re in talks with Microsoft to develop an engagement program,” says Brett Raynes, CEO at Cloud Direct. “The tech industry needs a rebrand. That’s why we’re launching our career academy focussed on attracting people with transferable skills not just technical know-how. The IT industry is crying out for talent but currently there are far too few women in tech roles. We haven’t found the answer yet but affirmative action, like our academy, will help in the short term.”

So, what can your business do today to make a fairer future for women?

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