While improving the diversity of our tech workforce overall is an important goal, it’s also far-reaching to focus on ways to promote and support specific ethnic and gender groups specifically… and understanding why it’s important to do so is just as significant. Those are a few reasons we’re kicking off a new series entitled Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – DEI in the Technology Workforce.
In our first blog, we’re talking about women in technology. The good news is that there has been a significant increase in the number of women in the technology workforce, from 8% in 1970 to just under 30% today. And the good news continues within Big Tech (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft), where women make up as much as 42% of the workforce.
On the other hand, many tech companies find a challenge in these retaining women – more so than other industries. While there seems to be a variety of reasons for this trend, at Trissential we’re always focused on solutions. We’ve turned to Continuous Quality Sales Essentialist Erin Turner for some answers. After more than a decade in the technology industry, Erin provides an interesting perspective, including four ways we can better support women in the tech workforce:
- Make sure your team members understand the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) on performance. Recently the editors at CIO.com reported on a new study that showed diverse teams (and leadership) often outperform others. According to Harvard Business Review, workforces with higher diversity also report a higher sense of belonging which promotes higher engagement, more trust and better retention.
- Expose all employees, including women, to mentoring, on-the-job training and education programs. “I had a mentor early on that helped me find internal programs for continuous training,” Erin says. “That gave me more confidence and helped me improve professionally.”
- Find and support STEAM programs in your community. Programs that focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) provides support for young women and kids in these areas and are a great way to equalize the opportunities for everyone. They can also bring more awareness about the importance of DEI within your own workforce as well.
- Encourage participation in local Women in Technology networks and groups. Erin says it’s always important to support female colleagues. “In 2017 I joined WLIT, which is short for Women Leading in Technology. While we began by exploring blockchain, over the years the group has evolved to discuss not only technology topics, but also ways to become more empowered in the workforce.” (WILT is an offshoot of the Minnesota Technology Association, better known as MNTech)
Thanks to Erin for providing her perspective in this article. We look forward to exploring more reasons why DEI is so important in any workforce and to providing more ways to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in our own organizations.