Four ways of bring­ing more women into tech cor­ner

Business Daily (Kenya) - - LIFE: START-UP - MON­ICA EATON CARDONE En­tre­pre­neur with ex­per­tise in tech­nol­ogy, ecom­merce, and pay­ment pro­cess­ing so­lu­tions En­tre­pre­neur

The dis­cus­sion about gen­der eq­uity in the work­place is noth­ing new. It’s been on­go­ing for decades, but we’ve made a good deal of progress over­all. How­ever, we still have a lot of prob­lems en­cour­ag­ing di­ver­sity in tech.

Var­ied per­spec­tives make for a more dy­namic, in-touch and ul­ti­mately sus­tain­able or­gan­i­sa­tion, mean­ing that it’s not just a mo­ral judge­ment — it’s also smart busi­ness. The short­age of fe­male re­cruits in tech, though, makes di­verse or­gan­i­sa­tions much harder to build. This leaves a lot of tech busi­nesses ask­ing the ques­tion: “How can we at­tract more di­verse re­cruits?” For­tu­nately, ad­dress­ing im­bal­ances in tech isn’t as dif­fi­cult as many might as­sume.

DI­VERSE LEAD­ER­SHIP

Op­por­tu­ni­ties for ad­vance­ment are a pow­er­ful in­cen­tive in re­cruit­ing top tal­ent, and the best way to re­cruit fe­male can­di­dates re­volves around this very sim­ple con­cept. Step one is to un­der­score that the same op­por­tu­ni­ties ex­ist for male and fe­male re­cruits by en­cour­ag­ing women in lead­er­ship po­si­tions. Draw­ing on di­verse per­spec­tives in lead­er­ship will pay off quickly as you can ex­pect more

HOLD THE DOOR FOR OTH­ERS

Data from 2015 found that less than 30 per­cent of the la­bor force at the largest tech com­pa­nies were women, and women oc­cu­pied just 15.6 per­cent of ex­plic­itly tech-re­lated po­si­tions. It’s not easy for women to find their way in this in­dus­try. When they do, though, it’s help­ful if they can pro­vide sup­port for oth­ers still at the be­gin­ning of their ca­reer.

MEN­TOR­SHIP

Of course, help­ing bring women on board is just part of the equa­tion. Busi­ness lead­ers can also make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence by equip­ping women in tech with the tools to find suc­cess.

The best way to get oth­ers to pro­mote your con­tri­bu­tions is to start pro­mot­ing your­self. Women need to take on the roles of self­ad­vo­cates, but that’s much eas­ier with the ben­e­fit of guid­ance from a more ex­pe­ri­enced fig­ure.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, though, these re­la­tion­ships tend to be di­vided along gen­der lines.

DE­VELOP PAS­SION EARLY

The themes of men­tor­ship and ad­vo­cacy carry over into the next gen­er­a­tion as well. Based on my ex­pe­ri­ences, there are three main rea­sons young women tend not to con­sider tech as a ca­reer path:

The pas­sion for tech isn’t in­stilled in girls early on. Girls aren’t aware of the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able in the field.

They don’t pos­sess the same con­fi­dence as boys when it comes to tech.

Cor­rect­ing for these is es­sen­tial if we’re ever go­ing to ad­dress the gen­der im­bal­ance in the in­dus­try, and we’re go­ing to have to start with young peo­ple to pull it off.

DI­VER­SITY Prob­lems abound in tech for women and girls.

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