When we contemplate about successful individuals in the technological arena, the first names that strike our minds are Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk – all of whom are men who have gained enormous financial success by inventing avant-garde technology systems. Unfortunately, women still struggle to be acknowledged for their accomplishments in technology. Nevertheless, there exist several female pioneers, including Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Annie Eisley, and Radia Perlman, who have contributed significantly to the industry. Sadly, these women have not been given the recognition they deserve.
Despite the era of modernity we live in, bias still prevails at an alarming rate. Regrettably, diversity is frequently underestimated in well-established businesses and new ventures, and is merely considered a nine-letter buzzword, instead of being regarded as a fundamental value that needs to be deeply ingrained.
What Benefits Can a Tech Company Reap by Having a More Diverse Workforce?
The majority of new IT companies are eager to innovate, acknowledging that a failure to experiment could lead to failure in the fiercely competitive tech industry. However, some companies fail to realize the significance of having a diverse workforce in promoting creativity and pushing boundaries.
Outlined below are some of the most persuasive reasons in support of having diversity in IT companies:
Boosting Creativity and Generating Innovative Ideas
A team that comprises people from different racial/ethnic backgrounds, genders, and age groups offers a more extensive pool of potential approaches to solve any given challenge. For instance, consider a team of programmers. If all members of the team tackle complex coding problems using the same approach, dealing with such problems becomes more challenging, almost like the world is overrun by zombies. However, a diverse workforce increases the chances of discovering solutions to even the most unforeseen circumstances.
When a team consists of individuals with similar backgrounds, ideas, and methodologies, they tend to struggle with innovation. This is because they possess identical worldviews and, as a result, come to the same conclusions. However, teams that acknowledge and appreciate diversity can take advantage of its benefits, such as the ability to generate new perspectives, strategies, and solutions. Consequently, this enables them to make ongoing improvements and progress.
Enhanced Talent Pool
There are currently over twenty million programmers worldwide, and this number is growing every year. This surge in candidate potential makes it increasingly challenging to find qualified engineers who also fit into your organization’s culture. However, this challenge can become even more complex if you limit your search to the same pool of experienced engineers, which may exclude some of the most talented and qualified candidates who may be located elsewhere. For instance, you could be ignoring some of the best engineers in the world just because your focus is on hiring locally.
Encouraging Employee Involvement
It is imperative for employees to feel that they have the opportunity to develop and advance in their professional lives. Everyone should be acknowledged for their hard work and dedication and encouraged to strive for further success. The computer industry, in particular, puts a premium on innovative thinking and creative problem-solving. When a company is receptive to diverse ideas and perspectives, employees feel a stronger sense of connection and loyalty to the company, leading them to be motivated and invest their most significant effort.
The Role of Women in a New Technology Company
Achieving a balanced representation of both genders in the Information Technology (IT) sector is an aspiration that is often difficult to realise. It can be compared to the daunting task of searching for missing socks after a laundry load; an almost impossible feat. Unfortunately, women can often encounter difficulties in making a name for themselves in this industry.
Scrutinising the data and statistics highlighted in the accompanying infographic can offer a better comprehension of the significance of gender diversity in the Information Technology (IT) sector, and also provide a window into the experiences of women in IT.
Guidelines for Cultivating a Gender Diverse Tech Team
As a business leader, taking the initiative to promote gender equality and enhance diversity within your company is the appropriate action to take. At Works, our remote recruitment company, we have been actively endeavouring to establish equality and inclusivity among our employees for over a decade. This has enabled us to establish a productive and welcoming workplace for everyone.
Moreover, women are emerging as the dominant force in leadership roles (quite literally).
Sharon Koifman, President and Founder of Works, jokingly got ‘overthrown’ by the female members of the team, underscoring the company’s commitment to hiring women in various capacities.
If you have recently ventured into entrepreneurship and are searching for ways to augment diversity within your workforce by hiring more female employees, consider the following beneficial tips and strategies:
- Broadly advertise available positions to attract a diverse range of applicants
- Establish connections with other female entrepreneurs, job boards, and recruitment experts to identify appropriate applicants.
- Review your job descriptions and ensure that they are written with gender-neutral language.
- Offer flexible work arrangements to make the position more appealing to female candidates. For more information, refer to our blog article on the importance of telecommuting in combating climate change.
- Encourage a more inclusive work environment by providing mentorship and training opportunities.
- Ensure that your selection process is impartial, transparent and free from discrimination.
- Ensure that employees receive equal compensation for equivalent roles and capabilities.
- Adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards gender-based mistreatment or harassment in any form.
- Invite input from female employees and utilise it to shape future recruitment processes.
Reassess Your Position
Small modifications can have a significant positive impact. Regrettably, several IT companies use language in their job postings that is biased. For example, words like “hacker” and “ambitious” are less effective in attracting female applicants than “hard worker” and “committed”. Additionally, using “he” when referring to developers might suggest that they are solely male. It is vital to keep these factors in mind and consider alternative phrasing while crafting job postings. Furthermore, distinguishing between required and desirable qualifications can be advantageous. Studies have demonstrated that when applying for a position, men are usually comfortable if they qualify only 60% of the requirements; for women, this number is usually 100%.
Revise Your Hiring Processes
To expand the pool of potential candidates, it is recommended that employers explore alternative sources beyond traditional recruitment methods. Employers should consider casting a broad net and experimenting with different recruitment platforms to increase their talent pool. For instance, numerous competent female job seekers are available for IT-related roles on platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook, allowing employers to directly recruit talented and diverse candidates from these platforms.
Prepare for the Interview in Advance.
To foster inclusivity in the workplace, it is critical to conduct interviews systematically and in a structured manner. Unconscious biases can cause us to make decisions based on impulse rather than pertinent factors. For example, we may feel a sense of rapport with a candidate who shares our interests or characteristics, even though both candidates are equally qualified. However, to ensure fairness in the interview process, it is vital to implement a standardized approach, so that the best candidate is selected based on their responses rather than being influenced by gender or other personal factors.
Acknowledgement of their contributions is highly valued by female employees. The significant gender pay gap can create the perception that men possess capabilities that women do not. Often, male employees are paid significantly more than their female colleagues for the same role. To increase the likelihood of a female candidate accepting an employment offer, it is crucial to offer the same compensation as any male employee for the same job.
The Crux of the Matter is Culture
A robust corporate culture is vital to ensure the success of your organisation. The core of this should be a culture that embraces diversity and is reflected in all aspects of the business. Furthermore, by recruiting individuals who share your optimistic outlook, you will foster an environment where women feel that their thoughts and perspectives hold value, leading to increased interest in joining your team.
Hire Top Talent for Your Company
Recruiting personnel who share your organisation’s values is crucial to its success. We understand the difficulty involved in finding and attracting qualified talent, having been in the industry for over a decade. Hence, we offer our assistance in locating and hiring the finest software developers with the technical prowess to match your business, as well as staff members who are fully committed to representing and embodying your company’s values. Additionally, we have a team of IT recruiters who can guarantee the top five applicants to fill your open positions.