Improving Gender Diversity in Technology by Encouraging Women in Tech RolesJuly 18, 2020
The information technology sector has made tremendous leaps and bounds over the years. The industry is continuously moving towards an innovative future with the help of a creative workforce and advanced technologies. Undeniably, the workforce plays a fundamental role behind the success of a business, driving the world of advancement and innovation. The workforce that shares mutual understanding and efforts to a company’s growth involves both men and women. Unfortunately, the number of women in technology and IT-related occupations has paled.
Increasing the number and role of women in tech has been a relentless effort for decades. However, women in the technology sector remain underrepresented, largely dominated by men. In the last couple of years, the proportion of women working in technology teams has risen only fractionally, from 21% to 22%, while the percentage of female technology leaders remains at just 12%. To improve the numbers, companies need to focus on where the real problem is. They need to attract female candidates for technology roles in the first place.
When it comes to equal pay, there is also a major gap between genders. This pay disparity raises numerous problems on many levels. Lack of transparency is one of the biggest impediments to accomplishing pay equality. To curb the issues around pay inequality and gender disparity, some countries in the world now have introduced regulations. In the United States, for instance, the state of California has enforced a law that requires public companies to have a woman on their board. On the other side, the UK has made it essential for companies employing more than 250 people to publicly disclose the salaries of their male and female staff members, raising greater transparency around gender pay gaps and inequality.
Creating Opportunities to Bolster Gender Diversity
Building a gender diverse workforce significantly leads to more dynamic work culture and increased creativity. However, making this scenario better requires much effort from companies and business leaders. They must create opportunities within their organizations that not only attract a gender-diverse workforce, but also retain a broad spectrum of employees.
Hiring people based on who is best for the role, companies can help enable hiring teams to think out of the box and congregate diverse candidates. Forward-thinking organizations and smart leaders always stay ahead of capitalizing on opportunities to benefit their companies by attracting, building and retaining a diverse workforce. They understand that creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive culture will fulfill their businesses’ requirements.
For instance, Salesforce is one of the companies addressing the gap around gender diversity in several innovative ways. At Salesforce, women currently share 31.6 percent of the company’s workforce, which is up from 30.9 percent last year. The company also increased the number of women in leadership positions by 28.3 percent during the same period. Besides this, Salesforce has conducted four global equal pay assessments to ensure equal pay for equal work.
In order to foster gender diversity, the company has a number of programs in place, including the Salesforce Women’s Network, an enviable 26 weeks of paid parental leave, formal allyship and mentoring, and a focus on metrics, such as making diversity data available to the executive team on a monthly basis that can enable them to monitor outcomes and keep diversity goals on top.
Driving Effective Change Management
A majority of organizations today realize that making diversity and inclusion is a business imperative which can help them keep away from disgracing their reputation. Companies with diverse teams and effective diversity and inclusion initiatives can outperform those with a more homogeneous workforce. Even, reports show that greater diversity in the workforce will result in greater productivity and value creation. This improved diversity will also help drive better financial performance.
There are plenty of programmes, even at academic levels, improving gender diversity in the tech workforce. For example, InnovateHer, an educational programme in the UK, is working on minimizing the gender imbalance in technology by assisting girls aged 12 to 16 to learn the skills needed to pursue a career in tech. The programme encourages girls to take STEM subjects at GCSE and A level, increasing the number of women in STEM and challenging the status quo.
Comprehensively, as the information technology industry is growing at a significant pace, it has become essential to have women on board to meet the needs of society equally.