Tech companies are flooded with great minds, innovators and leaders of the future. However, many of these businesses still lack diversity in employment and leadership. Gender equality in the workplace has been a reoccurring issue all around the world, and tech companies are often the biggest offenders. Given the value of building a team with diverse perspectives, it is important that these organizations reconsider the way they hire and promote.
Overcoming the Stigma
Many times women are passed up on the opportunity for tech roles or leadership opportunities because of bias or stigma. It’s sometimes thought that women don’t have any interest for work in technology—and it’s this kind of stigma holding women back. It’s important to overcome bias in the field, even among those that may not realize what they’re doing. This collective bias can both prevent women from working in tech and hinder their advancement, making it something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s important to remember that, although women are extremely outnumbered in tech companies, this does not make them any less qualified than the men.
Working Twice as Hard
Studies and research have shown that women must work harder in the workplace to gain the same notability as men. A study of applicants to fellowship programs in biomedical sciences have found that women had to be 2.5 times more productive than the men if they wanted to be seen as equals. It’s not just women facing these challenges and obstacles, but other groups that are underrepresented in the workforce. Another study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research found black workers get extra scrutiny from bosses that lead to low wages, terrible work reviews, and even job loss. Well-intentioned employers should reexamine the way they treat staff and ensure that they’re not operating out of a place of bias, even if accidentally.
Beyond tech, women often fall behind on leadership roles in many businesses and industries. However, research shows the benefit of having female leadership. According to the University of California, businesses run by a woman perform better over time.
The need for women in the tech industry must be taken seriously. Many of them are passed up for leadership opportunity because of stigma, have to work twice as hard just to be seen as equals, and aren’t considered enough for leadership roles. It’s time to put an end the lack of women and other underrepresented marginalized groups in the tech industry.