Why there’s still a place for women in tech initiatives

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The lack of diversity in the technology sector – specifically regarding the relatively low number of women working in tech – has been acknowledged for some time now. Normally in the media to discuss new product announcements or earning reports, Silicon Valley’s biggest technology companies have begun regularly disclosing their diversity data – giving the world an insight into the representation of women and underrepresented minorities at these multi-national tech organisations.

A couple of months ago Google announced that it has increased its number of women in technical roles by one percent – to 19% – making gains for the third year in a row. Microsoft announced at the end of 2015 that their Board of Directors includes three female members out of 11 total compared to two of 10 a year ago – while the percentage of women on their Senior Leadership Team is now at 27.2% percent, the highest it has ever been. Whilst they are moving in the right direction, progress is slow and there is still not a robust female pipeline.

Only a pipeline issue?

It was historically thought that the gender gap in tech was down to the lack of women studying the relevant subjects. However, recent studies indicate an equal number of secondary school girls and boys are studying STEM subjects. So if developing and encouraging women from a young age isn’t the issue, then why don’t we see a greater representation of women at the top? At PDT we believe there are more complex reasons inhibiting women (and others in non-dominant groups) gaining the senior positions, and it’s to do with the culture that’s pervaded in the tech industry.

Companies can hire a more diverse talent pool but without creating an inclusive working environment they will not retain that talent. Organisations who are taking this seriously understand that they will gain a competitive advantage if they get this right. Therefore “women in tech” initiatives still have a significant role to play in determining which tech companies emerge as the leaders of the future.

Practical Ways to Support the Progression of Women – a free workshop for all managers (click to register)

A lot of organisations are struggling with their so-called ‘frozen middle’ and indeed many training courses are either targeted at women themselves, or only at a fairly senior level. Yet, there’s an increasing amount of research suggesting that engaging middle managers in achieving gender balance is critical.

That’s why we at PDT Global have created a workshop, aimed at all levels of management which offers some practical tips for progressing your female talent, and along with techUK we’d like you to join us on 4th October 2016 (08:30 – 11:00) in London.

This workshop, for male and female managers, helps the participant raise awareness of their perceptions of women as leaders. It shares practical actions so they can intentionally adapt their approach to get the very best from all the talent in their teams.

We will cover:

  • Refreshing the business case for supporting the progression of
  • Perceptions and myths about differences between men and women
  • The double bind for women
  • What gets in the way for women and how to address as managers
  • Personal commitments for intentional action