Founder, Coding Blonde
There have been a lot of studies confirming that diversity of thought is a major factor in a company’s success. Tech companies have recognized the need for more women in the industry and are striving to equalize the ratio of male to female employees, but is that enough?
While it’s encouraging to see more demand for women in this stereotypically male industry, we need to take a step further and try to look at diversity among women who enter the tech industry.
Diversity of thought comes in many shapes and forms, from our inherent qualities to acquired ones. Harvard Business Review calls that 2-D diversity, and, according to its research, companies that pay attention to are 45 percent likelier to increase their market share and 70 percent likelier to expand to new markets.
Lumping all women into one category may have worked at the beginning, but now that there is progress being made, we should use a different approach to aim for diversity in our teams. Attracting truly diverse female talent is the best way to solve problems and come up with creative and inclusive solutions.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Hiring practices should never be skewed in order to favor certain candidates over others; they should be in place to identify the strongest candidate for the position.
The solution comes from increasing the diversity within the pool of candidates. How can we do that? Through representation.
Representation is incredibly powerful. We relate to people who look like us, and when we see them in a certain field or career, it reassures us that we can get there too. While running my blog, I’ve been fortunate to learn the stories of so many incredible women from all sorts of backgrounds. Diversity already exists – what we need to do is to highlight it and celebrate it to reach more women.
Companies should focus on highlighting the diverse talent they have and how their team members’ skill sets complement each other. Event organizers should proactively have more women from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences as speakers. Media should place a special focus on increasing representation of women in technology, telling stories of women from all over the world.
If you are a woman in tech, make your voice and story heard to inspire someone who looks like you or who has had experiences similar to yours. Let’s all contribute to the diversity of women in tech.