Today marks 2021’s International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the success and achievements of women around the world. It is also a day for recognising the issues women still face in society and understanding how we can move forward to achieve better gender rights and equality.
To honour this day, our team is here to remind you why greater gender representation across the ICT sector is crucial and why we need more women in tech – stat.
1. Diversity boosts innovation
Having more female talent in tech benefits everyone, especially the employers. Employing women of all backgrounds can boost technology businesses with new ideas, perspectives and approaches. Having a more diverse team brings about innovation to products and services, and helps to spot business opportunities that otherwise could be overlooked.
A new outlook on day-to-day activities can improve everyday work life and interactions, while a fresh take on strategic goals has the potential to take businesses to a whole new level.
2. Solve bias with diversity
The products your business creates and services it provides are used by many people. But have you ever wondered who they cater to most?
When creating a product, especially a digital one, development teams often think about the users, applying their own experience and perspective to the solutions they could offer. If the team members are similar to one another, chances are that only certain ideas and approaches will be explored, limiting the potential of the product.
Greater diversity across teams solves this problem by bringing in a wider perspective and fresh ideas to the table. Thanks to more diverse teams, it is easier to notice new opportunities and catch issues before they happen. For example, bringing in female programmers can help catch biases in algorithms developed by exclusively male teams.
The more representative of all genders, ethnic backgrounds, ages and beliefs a team is, the more certainty there is that products and services won’t be biased. Worth it? Definitely.
3. Enhance the performance of teams
Diversity not only generates new perspectives and innovation in the workplace, but also boosts the efficiency and productivity of the entire team. In fact, a 2015 McKinsey & Company study indicates that diverse staff significantly outperforms homogenous teams. In gender-balanced teams, performance grows by 15% percent, and spikes up by as much as 35% for teams that are racially diverse.
4. Diverse hiring is easier than ever
If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is that with remote working being a new normal, diverse hiring is easier than ever. New technological solutions provide flexibility that makes working remotely an easy option. What’s more, it opens opportunities and makes work more accessible to those for whom teleworking is a matter of not only convenience, but also inclusion: people with disabilities, caregivers, residents of rural areas and remote locations, and many others.
For business, this can mean access to an even greater pool of talent and a chance to bring more women of all backgrounds on board for ICT positions. This provides the opportunity to reap the benefits of having a diverse and talented team, all by simply moving with the times.
5. Diversity brings additional value
A diverse staff means enriching the workplace with different cultures, experiences and knowledge – this can unite teams and increase workplace relations, in turn, boosting the performance and gains of a business. Teams will also be better prepared to deal with a wide variety of issues, and enhanced teamwork will only benefit organisations.
This translates into financial value too. A 2016 Intel study showed that diverse companies are simply more profitable: making the workplace more diverse can bring an additional $470 – $570 billion annually for the tech industry (US), with both gender and racial diversity playing an important role.
6. Diversity attracts talent
Our world is full of different cultures, religions and ethnicities – teams at work should reflect this too. Teams in which all members are alike suggest the company has a preference for a specific type of candidate.
The more diverse a team is, on the other hand, the more a prospective candidate feels they will be respected and valued at the organisation. By truly embracing diversity in the workplace (and not tokenising it), companies will be more attractive to work for and can encourage more jobseekers of all backgrounds to apply for available positions.
7. In Europe, 9 out of 10 jobs will be digital
The future job landscape is approaching rapidly, so with innovation advancing faster than ever and new competences needed to keep up with market demand, it won’t be long before 9 out of 10 jobs in Europe are digital. At our rate of development, technology will soon be the hotspot for job roles.
Put these two aspects together, and it’s a matter of simple statistics: soon, it will be virtually impossible to not hire women into ICT and digital roles anyway. Employers would benefit from getting ahead of the curve and hiring more women into digital roles now.
Female talent and capacity are already there, so by opting for them more often in recruitment processes and supporting staff with regular on-the-job training to keep their digital skills up to date, employers invest in a dedicated, well-performing team that is ready for the challenges of tomorrow and can help the new generation of diverse employees grow across companies.
8. Creating a just and equal society
Finally, with the world becoming more and more digital, we cannot afford to leave anybody behind. We have to ensure that women, as much as men, have access to future-proof careers, economic independence, and operational flexibility that jobs in ICT carry.
If we want to contribute to creating a sound and equal society, bringing more women of all backgrounds into the tech sector and giving them the tools to fully benefit from the digital transformation should be a no-brainer.