The workplace is thankfully becoming an equal place. More people are discovering the creative and innovative value women bring to the workplace, and companies are generating a higher RoI.
Immigrants and people with disabilities are getting more opportunities to succeed. We are slowly moving towards inclusivity. Yet only 14.3% of management and board-level executives in Silicon Valley are women.
The tech sector has its challenges. Despite plenty of focus on the issue, women are hard to retain. 72% of women in tech are outnumbered by men 2 to 1 or more, and 26% report being outnumbered by 5 to 1 or more.
Only 20% of engineering graduates are women. But where do they go? Nearly 40% of women with engineering degrees quit the profession or never enter the field. A major study found that half of the young women leave tech jobs by the age 35.
For those who leave, the most common reasons are poor workplace environment and mistreatment by male colleagues and higher management.
Attracting and Retaining More Women in Tech Companies
From talent acquisition to culture building, talent management must leverage the momentum of ceiling breakers and the energy of young women STEM graduates in record numbers and do more across many areas. A couple of ‘well-intentioned’ efforts may not make a lasting change.
Talent management must think and act bigger to attract, retain, and nurture more women technology professionals.
Inbound recruitment branding
Talent management teams must build a brand for everyone, not just women. Branding must tell about the work environment, work-life balance, and benefits. For instance, if you have heard of Google’s on-site laundry, scooters to travel on campus, and flexible working hours, it is all a part of the employer branding strategy.
Make your company known more than for the products you supply and the services you provide. Talk about the culture and employee initiatives. Create a marketing strategy by increasing your SEO and publishing great online content. Start conversations about advancements in your industry and the good of working in your company.
Inclusivity in the talent acquisition process
Your company may be a ‘boys club’ without the talent management realizing it. Subtle in practice but with immense effect. Your weekend outings may be fun but may include only a few women. Those with families may get left behind or uninformed of any deals and ideas generated at the party.
Replacing these non-inclusive events can have a significant impact on your workplace culture. Making events family-friendly and setting up team-building activities can create a community at your company, not just a group of coworkers. Having a culture where your team supports each other shows the world that you include all beyond their day-to-day tasks.
Equal benefits for men and women
Women do not want to be exceptional cases. It is a common assumption that women take more time off than men. As per research, when companies offered equal family leaves, men and women averaged the same amount of leave taken as men get more time to be with family and women do not feel like quitting in response to a family commitment.
- A well-rounded maternity program is good, but a ‘parental leave’ levels the playing field.
- Equal pay keeps morale high, ensuring more women return to work.
Talent management must research the industry and location averages and set a well-defined pay and benefits structure. Any changes must apply across the board.
Opportunity advancement for women
Talent management must note that investing in women in tech means that they will invest in the creativity and progress of the company and product. However, many women do not put themselves forward for roles they are not qualified for, a hindrance for the company. Organizations must have a mentorship program where women leaders talk to their workforce.
Brainstorming with women from outside the company will encourage them to put ideas forward the next time you need input. Additionally, when you send an equal number of women and men to trade shows and conferences, your audience will grow as both men and women appeal to different demographics and strengthen your presence in your industry.
Talent management must clearly define a career path so there is transparency and an even playing field.
Comprehensive mentorship program
Talent management could consider requesting women in senior positions to mentor new talent. They could also promote and create branding on social media, so prospective women employees know the kind of company you are. Make it clear that the lessons will stay throughout their life.
New skills learned from mentors are also transferrable to other women in their careers. Successful women can teach others a lot, which is a talent management victory. So, set an agenda that is specific to their job.
Upward mobility to leadership roles
While limited opportunity drives women out of the workforce, talent management can successfully attract and retain women by focusing on their future.
It is important on two levels.
- High-caliber talent that cannot advance will go elsewhere to find new opportunities.
- When job hunters evaluate your work culture, the lack of women in executive positions can be a deterrent
Talent management must encourage them to take additional training, attend professional courses, and apply for leadership roles.
When you take the time to understand the aspirations and plans of candidates you are hiring, they get an overall sense of the career growth that could be possible within your company.
Draup’s talent intelligence platform removes the bias and enables talent management to get insights on parameters that define high performers, make the right hiring decisions, and build an equal representation of women in workplaces. Diversity Navigator’s proprietary feature can match companies with the required skills, talent, location, and project experience.