Gender diversity efforts are driving positive changes in the tech industry. Currently, women are nearly half of the U.S tech workforce. While we are close to achieving numeric equality between genders in some tech roles, only about a third of leadership positions go to women.
During the pandemic, many women have reported delaying their careers to balance home and other responsibilities, worsening an already dire situation. Now more than ever, we must foster inclusive mindsets that support women and allies in their climb to tech leadership roles.
GOOD BUSINESS PRACTICE
Tech companies with women in 30% of their leadership roles see profitability increase 15%* when compared to companies with fewer women in leadership roles. Many have speculated the reasons why, but the result is clear: increasing the number of women who rise into top management is simply a good business practice.
LEARNING FROM LEADERS
Global consulting firm BCG and international executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles set out to learn how certain women made it to the top in tech, surveying over 750 female and male tech leaders and conducting in-depth interviews with more than 70 women in leadership jobs. Their findings provide applicable real-world lessons for all women seeking to move up the ladder in tech or any industry.
AND THE RESULTS ARE …
- There is NO ambition gap. Women and men were angling for a promotion at nearly the same percentage (62% vs. 67%).
- More women than men said that early “breakthrough” promotions were critical to catapulting their careers.
- Women regarded the risk tied to pursuing a promotion or new job differently from men, with women more likely than men to see their technical skills as critical to career advancement.
- Both men and women said that changing employers was a way to advance, but men changed jobs more frequently.
DIGGING INTO THE RESULTS
The leaders surveyed provided specific, concrete, and actionable examples of how the women leaders they observed positioned themselves for advancement. Regardless of where you are in your career journey, their teachings will help you reach the next rung on your ladder.
Develop your own communication style and stick with it
The way you present information can make a huge difference with how you’re perceived in the workplace. Some women have found that starting with the top takeaway was an effective way to keep audiences engaged. Since people get bored and want the “punch line,” presenting the conclusion first can drive interest throughout the presentation.
Ask “How am I doing?”
Reach out to your managers, colleagues, sponsors, and mentors for constructive criticism and feedback. Take a hard look at your performance and see how you can improve. Act on what you learn!
Blow your own horn!
Many women are socialized away from talking about their accomplishments as young girls. When those girls grow to adult women in tech, they fear being labeled a boaster. Learn to master the art to the “humble brag.” One easy way to get used to this is to make a list of your accomplishments using the third person (she/he/they). Another trick is to focus on the accomplishments of your team – it can be easier to talk about a group of people instead of only yourself.
GROW INCLUSIVITY IN YOUR ORG
Tackling the big problem of increasing gender diversity in your organization can seem like a lot to take on. An easy way to get started is by signing up for SheTek’s special International Women’s Day event, Fostering Inclusive Mindsets in Tech, on March 8, 2022, from 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST. Local tech, business, and university leaders will come together on a panel to share how they’ve changed the conversation around diversity in tech and what they’ve done to change minds over the course of their careers. Stay after the panel for a special networking session where you can connect with someone new. Free tickets for this virtual event are available at https://bit.ly/SheTekIWD.