This past Women’s History Month, big tech companies loudly and proudly touted their support for women. Google partnered with UN Women to share stories of women’s rights activists around the world. Facebook hosted an event focused on notable women in tech, and Twitter asked influencers to share stories of inspirational women. Those gestures were welcome, but they opened the door to some critical questions about women in tech.
A Peek Behind the PR Curtain
A look behind the scenes at those tech giants tells a different story than their Women’s History Month PR initiatives. Google’s tech workforce is only 22 percent female, Facebook’s tech staff is also 22 percent female, and Twitter’s tech team is only 17 percent female. While these numbers are a slight increase over the last several years, the fact remains that public lip service aside, tech companies still have a long way to go in terms of gender equality.
Big tech is still struggling with gaps, but what about startups? It’s easy to conclude that entrepreneurship would be a more equitable environment, but the numbers reflect disparity. While there has been an upward trend in the number of women founding tech companies, only 17 percent of those companies received VC funding. Furthermore, only 7 percent of leaders in VC are female.
Why Gender Diverse Tech Teams Matter
According to the National Center for Women and Technology:
- Gender diverse teams are far more consistent when it comes to producing projects that stay on budget and are delivered on schedule.
- Team dynamics are more collaborative with women members.
- The collective intelligence of the team rises with gender diversity.
- Gender diverse tech teams are more likely to experiment with creative solutions.
- Higher average performance bonuses are reported among gender diverse tech teams.
Diverse teams simply produce better outcomes. Diverse teams push each other, fostering both healthy competition and collaboration. When teams are composed of unique perspectives and worldviews, both the quantity and the quality of ideas and creative outcomes increases. In tech. where innovation is critical to survive and thrive, a commitment to diversity means a commitment to new ideas.
Take Control of Your Career
There is immense room for women to thrive in the tech industry, but as a tech pro, you must take control of your own career rather than waiting for opportunities to fall into your lap. There are lots of jobs out there, so it’s important to push yourself to strive for more – whether it means adding new skills to your repertoire, trying for a promotion, applying for jobs at big tech or taking on leadership responsibilities.
If you are a woman in the tech industry looking for exciting new IT career opportunities, we invite you to contact PEAK Technical Consulting today. We will work closely with you to identify great jobs at great organizations where you will thrive. We look forward to helping you achieve your career goals.