Why do we need more women in tech?
Thursday, July 28, 2022
We have all read the articles, heard the podcasts, and made our own declarations; we need more women in tech. It’s a sentiment that can hardly be argued with, thanks to years of robust research providing crystal-clear results. Increasing gender diversity—among many other forms of diversity needed for a healthy workplace—has huge benefits. But why do we need more women in tech?
Increasing the percentage of women in STEM organisations improves and excels in problem-solving, increases revenue, and can offer a great solution to the current digital recruitment crisis. It also contributes to the development of a more balanced society at large.
Table of contents
- Why do we need more women in tech specifically?
- Is diversity good for business?
- Can more women in tech, increase revenue?
- Does diversity improve communication?
- How does diversity help recruitment?
- Conclusion: how do we get more women in tech?!
Why do we need more women in tech specifically?
The digital and tech fields touch every element of our lives. When women make up a minority percentage in the field, as is the case today, this is a challenge. Decisions that will shape our collective future are based on the experience and perspective of predominantly men. The result? We create products and services that may not serve or support half of the population.
Take this example from The National Center for Biotechnology Information: in a road accident, a woman driver is 47% more likely to sustain severe injuries than a man. This is because basic safety tests are conducted on dummies that represent a male body. Similar biases have been noted in voice-recognition software, prioritising male voices over that of females. To transform this into a positive lesson: imagine the amazing capacity for innovation and achievement if the products and services we create are the combined result of a balanced workforce.
Is diversity good for business?
In short, the answer is yes: more women, more ideas. As Jolijn van Eunen, Lead People & Team Development at KPN mentioned in her story, “It’s proven. If you have a diverse team you’re more balanced, and you make better quicker decisions.” She is referring to both her own professional experience and to the many research papers and studies published over the last decades. These all reveal that having a diverse team, one that realistically reflects the make-up of society boosts innovation and enriches professional development.
Women often see things differently to men, so their inclusion at all levels of business creates a balanced pool of ideas. This balance makes ideation and problem-solving more smooth, more efficient, and more creative. It’s logical when you think about it; the richer the mix of cognitive approaches and lived perspectives around a boardroom table or in a Zoom call, the greater the pool of unique solutions generated.
Can more women in tech increase revenue?
Investing in diversity increases more than just idea flow: it’s a surefire way to improve client and customer interaction, product insights, and even revenue. A recent Forbes article proposes that teams with diverse perspectives are more likely to recognise the new market and product opportunities, and better spot unmet market needs. Increasing awareness increases performance.
BCG and the Technical University of Munich conducted a major study that found statistical significance in the relationship between diversity and innovation: “companies with higher levels of diversity get more revenue from new products and services”. Deloitte Insights reveals that companies in the top quartile for the number of women on board their executive teams were “21% more likely to report above-average profitability”.
The stats are everywhere, and they add up: more women in tech, equals more revenue.
Does diversity improve communication?
We need to bring more feminine qualities and skills to the table in the digital world. These traits and abilities such as empathy, understanding, communication, collaboration, and flexibility, are all increasingly sought after by HR departments. But why is this particularly important in tech?
It’s an industry that is growing rapidly and globally. More and more tech companies are promoting agile, hybrid, and ecosystem-based working. This means we will see an increase in collaboration and conversation. With people-focused skills considered to be feminine in nature—whether due to the brain’s make-up or processes of socialisation—more women in tech is the way forward for smooth and successful collaboration.
How does diversity help recruitment?
There is another very simple answer to the question: why do we need more women in tech? And it’s one of numbers. A report by Accenture shows that in the US, computing jobs are growing at three times the rate of overall job creation—and that was already seven years ago. Imagine the gaps to be filled now. With the tech industry growing so energetically all over the world, and with women making up half of the global workforce, it simply doesn’t make sense to deny the sector the technology skills and work power that more women in tech can bring.
We need to create environments where women support each other rather than compete. Including more women in tech, and specifically in the hiring process, is an opportunity to create a golden domino effect. If women make up substantial percentages of recruitment panels, then they can take the chance to shift the hiring focus away from outdated assumptions, unconscious bias, and gender-related blindspots. Instead, they can ditch discrimination and focus on technology skills, qualities, and suitability for the role.
The result? Companies, where women are involved in making recruitment decisions, can catch the most talented and well-suited candidates. Tip: take Harvard’s unconscious bias quiz to see where your blindspots are, you might be surprised!
Conclusion: how do we get more women in tech?!
Attain, retain, train. Attracting and retaining more women into tech roles will increase the number of women role models. A traditionally male-dominated field becomes a lot more attractive to women applicants when they can see people onboard who look like themselves, people who represent them, and people who may identify with shared challenges. Cue: mentorship!
Seeing and celebrating successful women in tech will inspire a new generation of female talent. Mentors can help train new talent to feel ready to invest time and confidence in growing their technical skills and enhancing their professional development in STEM. This increase in the talent pool is something the industry really needs to see. The effects of this? A more balanced and diverse business, smooth and creative problem-solving, increased revenue, and a wider and enriched hiring pool.
The argument for why we need more women in tech is clear, this is not going to happen on its own. It’s time to make a conscious intervention; we are done with focusing on awareness; what we really need is action.
Do you see yourself as a role model, or are you searching for advice and inspiration from a woman with experience in tech? To take a real step towards our shared, balanced, and innovative future, sign up for the RightBrains mentoring platform today and reap the benefits!