Young women likely to have the coding skills employers want

But workplace diversity isn't valued as highly as other factors for women of all ages when considering a job

Three women at work

Female coders under the age of 22 are far more likely to have the coding language skills employers are looking for than their more established industry counterparts.

The majority of younger female developers are already versed in Java and Python, 72.1% and 59.2%, while more than half of Gen Z women, 50.1%, know JavaScript. These comprise the three coding languages most sought after by employers, according to a HackerRank survey into women's career attitudes and coding habits.

The second such survey of its kind asked more than 12,000 female developers from across the globe about the coding languages they know, when they began learning, and how they approached their careers.

"From the newest discoveries in medicine to the latest advances in renewable energy, software is touching every aspect of people's lives across the globe," said HackerRank's vice president of people Maria Chung. "Given this, it's vital that the creators of software are as diverse as the populations that will be affected by their work.

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"We've found eye-opening insights, particularly about Gen Z women. Our findings will help you better understand Gen Z women developers' skillsets, motivations, and job interests.

"Unlike other generations, Gen Z women are digital natives - because of this, their interests and values are different from those who came before them."

Women who fall under the 'Gen Z' bracket were also far more likely to learn how to code at a younger age compared with female developers older than 22.

Almost 30% of Gen Z women began coding when they were 15 or under, against 17.6% of more established developers. Moreover, 69.8% of Gen Z women learned to code at between 16 and 20 versus 55.7% of women aged 22 or above.

Broadly, the factors women developers looked for in a job remained the same across the age divide. But Gen Z women are far less likely to prioritise competitive compensation, 15.7% versus 25.9%, and are far more likely to prioritise working for a prestigious brand, 14.2% versus 6.7%.

Interestingly, workplace diversity ranked third-from-bottom for Gen Z developers and second-from-bottom for their older colleagues, despite widespread efforts across the industry to bring more women into tech.

This was backed up with additional findings that revealed "not enough diversity" on an interview panel was the least likely factor to turn off Gen Z women from an employer. Ranking bottom with 27%, this was broadly consistent with Gen Z men, who ranked 23.3%.

Initiatives such as the Tech Talent Charter, which aims to boost gender diversity across digital industries, have been pushing for greater female representation in traditionally male-dominated roles.

Not enough clarity on the role or where they will be placed, 70.4%, was the highest turnoff for women, which was followed by not enough preparation for what to expect in the process, and a slow or nonexistent follow-up.

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