It will take 100 years to achieve gender equity at the current rate of progress, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020. The tech industry too has a long way to go toward achieving equality in the workplace. In fact, at the big tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon, women make up barely a third of the workforce. As we celebrate National Women’s month, regardless of business size, it is critical that we all think about the future of women in technology: the challenges, leadership, contributions and the conversation at large.
As the coronavirus pandemic reaches a full year of disrupted business, many companies are restructuring their workforce, supply lines, digital footprint, and even company policies. This presents a unique opportunity to recognize and prioritize the contribution of women in technology. Now more than ever, there is a need for a skilled workforce irrespective of the gender to drive tech innovation at scale. In order to close the gender gap, prioritize diversity and inclusion, and ensure the most productive capable workforce, there are a few essential steps for businesses to take.
A 2020 study found that men get more interviews for tech roles than women; companies interview men only for open positions 41% of the time and only women just 4% of the time. Hiring more women & non-binary people in design, product, project management, community, and leadership positions in general creates a healthier workplace. A diverse and inclusive workplace is proven to get better results, more accurately reflects your customer/client base, and ensures a wider range of experience.
Bias, unconscious or intentional, in hiring is one of the most serious hinderances to gender equity. It is also a serious problem in artificial intelligence and other tech products. Hiring a more diverse workforce is a step towards removing unconscious bias in artificial intelligence and other technology services. Removing unconscious bias from technological developments is not only the right thing to do, but it’s good for business – the users of technology, such as artificial intelligence, are an incredibly wide range of people who respond to products that better represent diversity.
Not all change can happen in the workforce, some critical change must also occur before tech workers even enter the job market. Women and minorities are underrepresented in STEM education. The lower expectations teachers may have for minorities and females to succeed in computer science and the lack of after-school STEM programs in lower-income communities, combine to form a picture of why women and minorities are underrepresented in tech.
Gender diversity is important at every level of a company, but women in leadership roles in particular are uniquely positioned to inspire and promote gender inclusivity. Many high-performance tech companies have women in leadership positions. Fortune 500 companies with at least three female directors have seen their return on invested capital increase by at least 66%, return on sales increase by 42%, and return on equity increase by at least 53%.
Monoculture is bad for business. The time to take action is now. Including more women and diverse candidates in the interview process is critical. Evaluating job descriptions, advertising the position in wide-reaching places, and creating an inclusive work environment are all important steps to take. At Integress we can help you find the right candidate for your unique work environment. We specialize in the fields of engineering, technical, and I.T. searches, for both contracted and temp positions as well as long-term placements. We identify talent in the manufacturing, industrial automation, distribution/ materials handling, and IT fields by considering a variety of factors that include work experience, education, and the importance of creating a diverse workforce. As a boutique technical search firm, we are able to take the time to get to know your particular business and the unique needs of each employee search. To find out more about our services and how we can work well with you, contact us here now.