Women in Tech
Historically, women have been less likely to go into the tech industry than men; a trend that has continued to this day. This has led to an unbalanced ratio in the workplace, leaving the few women in the industry isolated.
Project F aims to change that by bringing strategies and audits to companies—bringing to light some roadblocks that prevent a business from integrating more women.
We are joined by 3 guests: Roisin Parkes, Advisory Board Member at Project F; René Johannes, Lead Software Developer at Haefele Software; and Teri Jacobs, Software Developer Intern at Haefele Software.
The roundtable discussion focuses on women in the tech industry and how businesses can take the essential steps to integrate more women into the field.
How Project F Benefits Women in Tech
What is Project F?
The company’s aim is to help correct the gender imbalance in the tech industry by helping businesses strategize different ways that they can improve.
Project F works with both big and small companies, often providing added strategies for smaller companies like how to handle parental leave.
A common issue when helping these companies, however, is that during the audit phase, a company can realize they are not available to address the necessary changes at the time.
How It’s Beneficial
Studies have found that equal diversity among professional teams can lead to higher company success. If a team only has a single female on the team, that person cannot feel supported by other female team members; therefore, there’s a higher chance that the woman will not feel empowered to give input.
Many companies are unaware of the barriers that are in place for women in the tech industry. Something as basic as changing the interview process so that the majority of applicants are not men can make a huge difference.
For the women in the tech field, research has shown that they likely change careers the further along they are. This can be attributed to lack of opportunities to be promoted. Intentional or not, acknowledging this obstacle can help retention.
Along with more opportunities, sponsoring women in tech can make all the difference. Suggesting them for roles, speaking for them when they cannot be present, and encouraging them can motivate and inspire.
Strategies for Promoting Women in Tech
Promoting women in tech is essential to the future of the industry. A dialogue about the issues is not enough.
- More companies must adopt the strategies of Project F to help them thrive
- Support the women already in the industry
- Encourage more and more young people to get involved with the industry.
By using all 3 of these approaches in unison, there’s hope for a more inclusive tech field.
4 Types of Diverse Teams
Research done more generally on the relationship between men and women in the workplace found that there are 4 different kinds of teams in regards to diversity:
A uniform team, a skewed team, a tilted team and a balanced team.
What the research showed was that if the team was unbalanced in the amount of women or men on the team, their success rate would lower. Only by having an equal team were they able to increase their success rate.
Exploitative VS. Exploratory Work
While the ratio between men and women is currently off, there’s a strategy that can be used to make the most of the situation:
Exploitative work can be described as well-defined and repetitive. While exploratory work is described as creative and collaborative.
In these two types of work, diversity can be utilized to best complete a goal. For the exploitative, the homogeneous large groups work best.
In the exploratory, it’s more advantageous to have an equally diverse group of men and women as it needs a smaller number of people and equal parts leading to better perspectives.