Navigating the tech world can look and feel much more different for women engineers than it does for men. For one, women face an uphill battle when it comes to inclusion, equal pay, gender equality in the workplace, gender equality in leadership, promotions, and fair hiring practices. It’s easy for a woman to feel like an outsider in this male-dominated space. But let’s not forget, the “shes” and “hers” of this world have incredible engineering prowess up their sleeves. Not all heroes wear capes, and that’s especially true for women in STEM.
What are some benefits that women in tech bring to the table? For one, they increase innovation, and we all know how important innovation is for propelling our society toward the future. Women in tech also improve the culture of the workplace in positive ways. Okay. We. Need. Women. Especially in the tech industry. But get this. Women in tech-related jobs account for only 28% of the workforce. So, how do we include a larger proportion of women so that the tech world is more equitable? We are thrilled to share some of the best ways you can support women in the tech industry.
1. Identify Any Existing Bias in Your Tech Company
We have to admit, this gets a bit psychological — it’s all in the mindset. Sometimes, the way we view women may have been ingrained early on and carried throughout life. Now’s the time to identify any existing bias toward women that you or other members of your team may have. It may come easily or it may require training, but either way, the result is improved relationships between both genders.
2. Use Gender-Friendly Language in the Workplace
The way we use language can shape our perceptions of each other — in both positive and negative ways. You may be excluding women in the picture by using gendered language, even though you may not be aware of it. Make sure you’re not unconsciously removing women from the picture when you are discussing important projects and any other business-related goals.
3. Celebrate Women’s Progress and Milestones
They did great! Whether it’s the successful completion of a high-value project or providing important insight that aids company growth, acknowledge their achievements. This fosters employee morale and gives credit when it’s due. Who knew bragging rights could lead to a more equitable workforce? Don’t be shy in giving them a high-five too.
4. Provide Continuing Education For Women
When it comes to change, the tech industry is one of the first to feel it. People in tech may start to doubt their engineering skills in the midst of such drastic technological changes. Give women support by providing continuing education, access to certification courses, and opportunities to attend conferences. Bonus points if the conference is a women’s leadership conference!
5. Provide a Supportive Culture by Identifying Their Needs
Empathy, collaboration, compassion, and embracing diversity are essential to providing a supportive culture for women. Letting your female employees know that they are valued and understood can reap positive benefits for everyone.
Let’s not forget. Women can be supported as early on as the hiring stage. By having a women recruiter involved during the interview process, you are instilling a sense of support. The female recruiter can serve as a very important role model by painting a picture for the company that shows women are not only welcome, but needed. Female recruiters are probably aware of certain gender biases, and so, they know how to adopt a more equitable language to be more inclusive.
6. Many Women Need Flexibility in Their Workplace
Many women require flexibility in their work schedules due to childcare or caregiver responsibilities. Make sure you are understanding of this need. Your company can provide a supportive role by contributing toward childcare and/or caregiver expenses and allowing for a flexible work environment. Trust us. If they are given this much-needed and deserved safety net, their career aspirations will skyrocket, and they may be one of your highest-performing employees. You can read more about how to promote hiring women in tech in thisarticlehere.