Gender Diversity in Tech - How we move the needle forward
On March 8th we celebrate International Women’s Day, a moment to celebrate the achievements of women and their contributions to society. And while it’s important to honor the figures that led and continue to lead the change for women’s rights, it’s also important to celebrate the everyday woman. If we want to move the needle truly forward, it has to reach all women. You should not have to be a superwoman to get an equal chance.
In the case of the technology industry, it is no secret that gender inequality prevails. In all levels of the organization, from the development team to leadership, women continue to be a minority. And now, ongoing research shows that years of progress in the fight for gender equality have been wiped out because of how the pandemic has affected women disproportionately. Today more than ever is important that entrepreneurs and business leaders put gender equality at the center of our workforce development and operations strategy.
We quickly realized that our team of developers was becoming disproportionately male-dominated. When we evaluated what could be influencing this outcome we found that it was a result of the pool of candidates applying to our job postings. Compared to men, very few women applied. While there are many reasons for this, the problem we set out to solve was diversifying our pool of candidates by reaching out to partner organizations in our ecosystem whose mission is to address a part of the minority talent gap. At Ennube we are proud members of the Salesforce Talent Alliance and partners of Moms Relaunch and PepUpTech. Supporting and hiring from organizations that are teaching and empowering underrepresented groups with technical skills is one strategy technology organizations can implement to address the gender gap.
Another approach is to provide unconscious bias training to hiring managers and corporate evaluators. A perfect example of this is Moms who took time off to care for their young, many who, due to the work gap, have a hard time finding work when they decide to return to the workforce. This work gap bias towards women has been a detriment for far too long. COVID brought some of these situations front and center when parents were put in charge of dealing with homeschooling and their jobs during a pandemic. The task of helping the kids navigate this disproportionately fell upon women who had to prioritize their family and home over their professions. For women who dropped out of the workforce, it may be difficult to find work again because of the work gap recruiting bias. Teaching emotional and social intelligence from diverse perspectives to existing management is imperative to creating a gender-inclusive environment and helping women thrive in the workplace.
Addressing gender inequality in the tech industry starts with improving hiring practices, but it doesn’t end there. The modern workplace needs to be aware of family responsibilities and flexible to the when, where and how workers can engage. New methods for tracking worker productivity remotely and expectation management on deliverables must be agreed upon by cross-functional leadership teams and deployed throughout the organization. By adopting flexibility and emotional intelligence to people operations the workplace can become a place where any woman can thrive.