In the ever-present challenge to increase the number of women in tech, it has come to light that this isn’t just a female issue. It is a business issue. Therefore, if we are going to overcome the gender bias in STEM-related fields, we need the help of just as many men as women. Yep, we need a few good men to help increase the number of women in leadership. In other words…
We need to work together to overcome gender bias.
Organisations that are committed to improving gender balance often find getting real results surprisingly challenging. Larger companies in historically male-dominated fields can take years to implement the necessary structural changes, even with the support of top leadership. While recognising there is no quick fix, they want to know what they can do right now to help women surmount gender-based obstacles to success.
According to their study: “Three types of resiliency-bolstering interventions were … values affirmations, social belonging interventions, and growth mindset interventions.”
Addressing gender bias in the workplace is a challenging undertaking as so many are unaware of their bias. Laura Berger, A qualified practitioner of emotional intelligence, Laura Berger has spent 20+ years counseling leaders at Fortune 500 companies, delves into this concept in her Forbes article, Unconscious Bias in the Workplace, Laura shares this data on the subject of having a more equally balanced work team:
According to McKinsey’s Delivering Through Diversity report, “Gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity, particularly within executive teams, continue to be correlated to financial performance across multiple countries worldwide.” Yet, they also show a continued neglect of diversity across organizations.
The report also showed companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more profitable. A Catalyst study found that companies with more women in executive positions have a 34% higher return to shareholders than those that do not. What’s more, companies with the most women directors have a 26% higher return on invested capital than those with the least. And 37% of surveyed employees believe that gender diversity means better business results.
Let’s examine that a little bit further. When companies acknowledge gender bias in the workplace and create a workable strategy for increasing the number of women in leadership roles, the performance (both top and bottom) of the company increases.
Therefore, if we just cut to the dollar and cents, it makes perfect sense (pardon the pun) to ensure your company has a diverse leadership team.
The question then becomes – what is holding you back? Is it an unconscious gender bias that allows the same gender candidates to be put forward?
Does your leadership team all look alike?
If you look at the company and see people who are all from the same background, then perhaps it is time to reexamine the process of attracting and recruiting a more diverse team.
As Laura Berger says in her article, “The question business leaders need to ask is, ‘Where is unconscious bias in my company and what is the impact?’ and it’s vital that it be asked.”
JJ DiGeronimo — the president of Tech Savvy Women — is a speaker, author, and thought leader for women in tech and girls and STEM. Through her work, JJ empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract women in technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.
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