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Posted April 03, 2017 by

Gender diversity in tech: one simple part of the solution

 

Gender diversity in tech companies has been a major issue for over two decades now. One part of solution to recruit more women in tech is a simple concept: more effective structured interviews.

The numbers don’t add up. The EEOC reports that women currently make up roughly 56% of the overall workforce, but are underrepresented in tech. Only about 28% of proprietary software jobs currently held by women.

Why is it important to have gender diversity in tech?

The financials tend to resonate more in enterprise companies. Various reports, including one from Catalyst and one from McKinsey, have shown that companies with more female leadership tend to outperform both their market and their rivals. An additional study, from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, showed companies with 30% or more females in leadership outperformed rivals by an average 6% net profit margin.

Women are often associated with being empathetic leaders. This is not true of all women of course, and many men are also empathetic. But if we can generally associated empathy with female leadership, we see a compelling reason to recruit more women in technology. Half of the ten most empathetic technology companies are also the fastest growing. They have grown about 23.3% per year, compared to a weighted average of 5.2% growth of all technology companies, according to one study.

Faith Rothberg, CEO of College Recruiter and named by RecruitingDaily as a top woman in HR technology worth watching, remarked: “While I know many men who are empathetic, including my husband, I’ve generally seen a higher degree of empathy from female leaders I’ve known and worked with. When you look at these 4x growth stats for companies led from a more empathetic place, and factor in the power of technology in terms of growing a company, having more females at the helm of these types of organizations seems both crucial and a no-brainer.”

Why is diversity in tech seemingly so far behind?

This is often framed as a “pipeline problem,” and that might be true. For example: according to Girls Who Code, 74% of young women (i.e. high-school aged and lower) express interest in STEM (technological) courses and career paths, but by the time decisions need to be made about taking those classes in college, only 18% choose STEM/computer science pathways. (And that’s actually dropped: in the 1980s, women held 37% of computer science degrees, for example.) 

What can be done about the technology gap for women? (more…)