International Women’s Day provides an ideal opportunity to celebrate the value of women working in technology across the globe – although, the reality is, our industry benefits from the fact women in tech makes sense each and every day.
When we look around our offices at INX, women are among our most creative minds and innovative thinkers. Smart, savvy, creative, multi-taskers, our female team members add value to our products and services, and many lead the teams that deliver our solutions on time and on budget. And research explain why.
Top leadership skills
When Harvard Business Review asked employees to evaluate their manager’s effectiveness and rate them on specific areas, women trumped men in 17 out of the 19 areas.
Women were rated as more constructive and practical in many areas, including IT, operations and legal activities.
According to the study, women were not only as competent as men, they brought additional skills to the table that their male counterparts reportedly lacked, such as empathy and support. And, it’s no secret that teams perform better when they feel supported.
Research by the University of Pennsylvania has identified differences in the structure of and activity in the brain of females. Brain connectivity mapping found that men tended to be better at learning and performing single tasks, while women tended to be better at multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group.
When it comes to technology, that’s a strong reason why women in tech make sense. Females can bring a hardwired mix of both creative solutions and strong analytical skills to the table, which are essential when it comes to software design and delivery.
Multinational business magazine, Fortune, throws further support behind the value of women in business by reporting the world’s most respected companies have twice as many women in senior management than less reputable companies.
This is consolidated by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, which released a survey of 21,980 firms from 91 countries, found that having women at executive-level significantly increases net margins.
It reported a profitable firm with 30% female leaders, could expect to add more than one percentage point to its net margin compared with an otherwise similar firm with no female leaders.
Eller Executive Education at the University of Arizona goes some way to explaining the reason why – ‘innovation intensity’.
It coined the concept after conducting an analysis of Fortune 500 companies, which found that companies with women in top management roles produced an average of 20% more patents (licences to exclude others from making, using or selling an inventive device, sustainable, method or process) than those with male leaders.
In the tech sector, it’s that creative and innovative mindset that helps generate better and safer products and solutions, and which adds value to technology products and services that sustain key industries around the world.
Need we say more?
Now, today’s challenge, is how we can retain women in the tech sector, and then attract more.
Stepped up solutions to attract women to tech
Despite women making up almost half of the workforce, Deloitte reports the employment rate of females in the tech sector at around 33% of overall workforce in 2022.
While that figure is steadily rising, Deloitte reports a risk of stagnation as women are disproportionally affected by COVID-19 workplace changes. Its Women @ Work global survey reported women’s satisfaction with work-life balance in the industry dropped to 32% during the COVID-19 pandemic, from 70% pre-pandemic.
At INX, we recognize the importance of flexibility for all of our people, especially our female employees who often carry the lion’s share of caregiving duties in households. Some of the initiatives we offer to our people to balance workloads, deadlines, business needs and care-giving and personal wellness are:
- Dial up and dial down – increasing or reducing working hours, going part-time or job share,
- Defining your work day – within the hours of 6am to 10pm, seven days a week,
- Doing the locomotion – working from any location or time zone for up to 90 days a year,
Like others in the tech sector, we continue to look globally to ensure our workplace remains diverse and inclusive.
Top tech companies around the world are implementing disconnect days, video programs, online mental health counselling and educational content for caregivers with children to provide relief for caregivers juggling personal and work commitments at home.
It’s all contributing to #Breakthebias and ensure proactive equity comes with a dose of practicality to retain and attract women in our tech industry.
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