Unfortunately, the flippant use of the word “diversity” has caused it to lose potency in important hiring conversations when speaking with high-level managers like owners, CEOs, and board members. We have done the industry a great disservice by diminishing the power of the word diversity.
Diverse teams are proven to be more creative than teams that are filled with individuals who come from similar backgrounds and life experiences. If each team member is of a different age, socioeconomic, or ethnic background, they are very likely to see problems differently. This diversity of experience will lead to a diversity of thought and more comprehensive solutions. In addition, diverse companies are better at serving a diverse user base. When managers represent their desired users or consumers, it is much more likely that the products they build will perform more effectively for the market groups they desire to serve.
Why Women Need a Helping Hand and Industry Needs Women
Creating a better environment for gender diversity is easier said than done in most industries and individual businesses. The tech industry is a great example. There are many reasons why ladies may have a hard time breaking into the tech industry. For example, a lack of role models, mentors, and female leadership visibility has been cited as an issue for many aspiring female tech professionals. Additional barriers to entry are the potential for discrimination both intentional and unintentional, lack of educational opportunities for overloaded ladies, and more.
Proper representation is essential in the tech industry especially when it comes to women. It is often reported that women are particularly underrepresented in the tech industry. In fact, a recent study found that as little as 26 percent of computing jobs were held by women. Tech companies often have a difficult time building products that can properly serve a diverse population of tech users. However, if the tech industry puts a focus on increasing diversity particularly in gender, we can create better products suited for multiple gendered perspectives and better cater to a 50 percent larger market. This same logic can be applied to many different industries, not just tech.
As I have consulted with startups across the globe in my career, and one of the most common questions that I get asked is, “How can we bring more women into the organization?”
Check out these five groups to learn how to recruit more quality ladies to your organization.
- Moms Can: CODE: Founded by Erica Peterson in August of 2017, it’s open to everyone willing to learn, and was established as a peer learning group for women looking to enter in technology. Its mission is to teach moms how to code and deliver programs in their local community or online so that they can earn money, add to their resume, network, and build their personal brands. The group is quickly growing and is a non profit that accepts donations. Organizations can promote job postings within the group.
- Tech Ladies: With over 25,000 members, it is dedicated to connecting women with jobs and a community support system. Offline, it has events in which organizations and can sponsor to get their brand out there as well as a sponsored job board. Tech Ladies provides educational webinars to women on a variety of topics to help them become better business people and tech experts.
- InHerSight: Similar to Glassdoor, InHerSight has the specific mission of helping women find female-friendly places to work. There is a job board and a place to post questions about organizations. The blog also has a lot of interesting articles on the latest in diversity news.
- Fairygodboss: A job review site for women by women, it has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Users can view jobs on Fairygodboss’s job board section. Organizations can get feedback from posts on the site made by users and make changes to their organization to help attract more female candidates.
- PowerToFly: Offering women education such as webinars, events, and mentoring support, the organization’s goal is to empower women to find better jobs in the tech industry. Employers can post jobs and also use the diversity platform to help boost their search by using its database of over a million different candidates.
The Future of Women in Tech
Unfortunately, the rate of women graduating with STEM degrees has slightly declined in recent years. In addition, there has been a bit of an epidemic of women turning their backs on tech careers in favor of traditionally more female friendly industries or activities. This is a real shame. Losing our ladies in tech can lead to a decline in diversity, which is a slippery slope into a loss of creativity and productivity. Increasing diversity in your organization should be a top priority for most HR professionals in the tech industry, and recruiting top female candidates should be at the top of your list. If you’re having trouble finding quality diverse candidates for your hiring program, try one of these five groups.