Why Diversity and Inclusion in Business is Importantby Adilin Beatrice February 9, 2021
Diversity is critical in tech as it enables organizations to create a better and safer environment that considers everyone, not just a single section of society. The year 2020 has played a big role in gearing women to step up in leadership roles. Women have a vision for diversity in their company, whether in form of considering people, technology, transformation, or innovation. Women have a nature to understand the leadership role better and lead by change. And change requires transformation and innovation, while innovation requires diversity. The whole picture works as a cycle and circles around women leaders in tech.
A report from McKinsey reveals that diverse companies perform better, hire better talents, have more engaged employees and retain workers better than companies that do not focus on diversity and inclusion. Despite this, women remain widely underrepresented in IT roles. For more than a decade now, the US Department of Labour has been reporting numbers that women make up less than 50% of the workplace and hold under 25% of the Information Technology (IT) positions. The World Economic Forum also provides a glimpse into disparity, publishing the Global Gender Gap Index. In 2020, the Global Gender Gap score stands at 68.6%, narrowing the gap from previous years. However, the remaining 31.4% is where the society has to do homework to bring it to null.
Technology is a space that men dominated for a long time. From the cultural belief that Computer Science is a ‘subject for boys’ to the assumption and discrimination that women experience in the field, it can be challenging for women at every stage of their careers to thrive in tech. Nevertheless, many high-performing women persist and succeed as leaders despite the gender biases pitted against them. In 2019, 29% of senior management roles were held by women, which is the highest number on record, and 87% of global businesses had at least one woman to fill leadership roles in technology and innovation. Women are naturally empathetic and can contextually apply emotional intelligence to manage people effectively. This explains why women leaders across the world have demonstrated their abilities to build a safe, open and conducive work environment. At the same time, research has found that female directors tend to be less conformist and more likely to express their independent views than male directors because they do not belong to old-boy networks, which in turn reflects when the organization makes strategic decisions.
Some of the key barriers for women that still need to be addressed are old stereotypes, fewer connections, bias and discrimination, and lack of flexibility, according to AAUW. While these are some of the well-known sloppy grounds, women at higher positions also face unspoken challenges every day. For them, getting the recognition for the position, being heard at meetings and being themselves without changing for the entity or the society is the primal achievement. Despite all the defiance, women in tech lead as trailblazers and innovators who are chosen because they have the unique lens to their respective companies helping to push innovation forward by unleashing economic wealth as a result.