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The number of women in STEM fields has steadily increased since the 1970s, but at that time it was only in make-up. Four% industry workforce 27% today.Deloitte Insights report By 2022, 1 in 4 executives at large global tech companies will be women.
All this sounds promising, but compared to the overall proportion of women in the workforce, this is not enough. Furthermore, among women in leadership, she is only 1 in 20 women of color. So what needs to be done to increase inclusion and opportunities for women in STEM fields?
Pursue and promote an inclusive culture
Inclusiveness affects all aspects of culture. It can be difficult to know where to start when building an inclusive culture, but it’s important to understand what your inclusive goals are. This means making sure every employee feels able to bring their authentic selves to work and is prepared to succeed in their role. This is an ongoing process and can be supported by many strategies, but below are a few that I have found particularly impactful as mentors, leaders and women in the tech industry.
Clarify your vision of diversity and inclusion
Define clear success criteria for what a cross-functional inclusive culture looks like in your organization. Likewise, make sure everyone, from leadership and hiring managers to interviewers and individual contributors, is aware of how inclusion and diversity can positively impact bottom line. . Clarifying this is important for gaining buy-in, and is often not easily understood. Empower everyone, especially across global teams, to answer the question, “Why is this company interested in diversity and inclusion?”
Focus and emphasize the importance of solid onboarding
Set new participants up for success with a solid onboarding process at every level. Make sure they are introduced to people across departments, not just their peers. Not only does this promote cross-departmental exposure and dissemination of ideas and goals, but it also opens the possibility for people to find more similarities among their colleagues.
Rethink employee training programs
We provide training that aligns with our inclusive culture and clearly explains what it means to be inclusive and accepting of others, regardless of background. This is especially important in global organizations with different traditions and practices in their own cultures. Through regular training, retraining and assessment of practices, we hold everyone at all levels accountable and accountable for creating and maintaining that inclusive culture.
Establishing and maintaining inclusivity is critical in fostering representation, but it’s only half the battle. Encouraging an inclusive culture with a diverse workforce is paramount, and vice versa. Without an inclusive culture, a team of diverse backgrounds cannot do their best work. Therefore, diversity and inclusion go hand in hand.
Organizations need to recognize that sustaining inclusiveness and increasing opportunities for underrepresented groups such as women in tech requires continued and concerted efforts that defy conventional practices. . A leader needs to step outside her comfort zone, leave herself vulnerable, and be open to change.
Increase opportunities for women in technology, both internally and externally
Senior management in any organization needs to be aware of current demographics and representation and ensure that diverse voices exist. More importantly, listen. This includes all aspects of an employee, from recruitment to day-to-day interactions to promotions. A strategy for doing this is:
Providing a place where employees with various backgrounds can connect
Slack channels for employees on LBGTQ+, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for women in tech, monthly lunches with guest speakers focused on diversity, and more for employees to discuss Establish a forum for raising concerns.. By encouraging these group events, companies can provide opportunities for underrepresented employees to network and build on each other. Building networks and relationships is especially important for potential first-time or new role employees seeking guidance on career development opportunities.
Embracing diversity: creating a clear career development program
Establishing a clear career path requires employees of all backgrounds to understand how to advance their careers. Similarly, organizations can work to remove individual bias from promotion decisions. Regardless of how companies approach diversity issues, it is imperative that underrepresented groups and voices are heard and amplified in the career process new hires face.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to ameliorating the shortage and growing diversity of women in the tech industry, it is imperative that we recognize and accept that this is a significant issue and take steps to end these inequalities. . It is the responsibility of all of us, especially management, to create a corporate culture that not only embraces diversity, but also champions it and promotes inclusion.
Colleen Tartow starburst.
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