Women are underrepresented in the corporate ladder. McKinsey data shows that women comprise less than 25% of executive positions, and women of color comprise only 4% of executive positions. However, this woe extends beyond the C-suite — industries such as technology are dominated by men, with women making up only a quarter of the IT workforce.
With American Business Women's Day just around the corner, IT companies of all sizes are declaring their commitment to gender equality in the workplace — and one of the best strategies to drive change is to listen and learn from women who have broken the glass ceiling. In this article, I will highlight three strategies that tech companies can use to increase women in the technology industry.
Launch mentoring and education programs that empower women.
It can be challenging for women to envision a fulfilling career in the IT industry. Organizations must assist employees in establishing a sense of belonging in the workplace, and they can begin by implementing mentoring programs.
Women may benefit from establishing connections with other women at work, such as during my mother's day, while taking time for my family. This may be one of the most crucial things you can do if you are a woman in leadership.
Tech firms should also strive to provide training and development opportunities to assist women in the workplace. Leaders may offer workshops, coaching programs, and reskilling opportunities to assist the workforce in acquiring the necessary skills and abilities for success and advancement.
Women will likely feel out of place and undervalued if office environments predominately cater to men. Mentorship and educational programs provide an avenue for learning and career advancement and can demonstrate leadership's interest in women's careers while fostering a sense of belonging in the workplace.
Benefits that are both inclusive and expansive
According to Trustradius, 57% of women have felt burnt out at work, compared to 36% of men. Since the epidemic, workers have begun to prioritize their mental health and personal lives above work, and corporations have developed programs and resources that support employee wellness.
According to Trustradius research, 78% of women in the tech industry believe they have to exert more effort than men to prove themselves. So, 33% of women have recently taken time off of work to prioritize their mental health. It is critical that businesses provide equal opportunities and resources that support mental health, employee appreciation, and education to women at work.
Inclusive benefits must go beyond mental health benefits. For working parents, equal parental leave has a significant impact on women's mental health and is one of the most essential benefits for parents as a whole. Companies must rethink their parental leave programs and incorporate equal leave for both parents, in order to allow partners to have an equal share in parental responsibilities.
Offer flexible employment regulations.
Workers are no longer willing to be a part of a company that ignores (or rescinds) policies based on) the epidemic, such as working from home and flexible schedules. In fact, according to Flexjobs statistics, 60% of women said that if their company forces them back into the workplace full time, they will seek elsewhere.
Even so, Deloitte research found that more than half of IT employees are likely to change jobs due to inadequate work-life balance, and New View Strategies data shows that most people have seen their workload significantly increase since the epidemic.
I initially hired a senior product manager part-time because she wanted to return to full-time work while balancing the demands of her two teenage boys and her passion for competitive track coaching. After a while, she moved into a full-time position and continued to excel professionally as she drove outstanding results for our company.
Tech companies must be both upfront and transparent when it comes to working mom issues, but also offer greater flexibility in order to ensure that they do not lose valuable talent. While flexible labor policies enable women to excel in their personal and professional lives, expanding the hiring pipeline is also helpful.
As companies honor this progress, there are now 41 women-led Fortune 500 corporations, compared to just two in 2000. This is a good time to review whether or not companies are cultivating a welcoming and supportive workplace.
Denise Hemke is the CEO of Checkr.