Myth: Women aren’t interested in the tech industry or working in tech roles. This is false. Companies that have a difficult time retaining top female talent are those that are not proactively investing in and providing opportunities for these women to advance within their organisation. Beyond this, the implications of failing to attract and retain a diverse workforce can be detrimental to a businesses success. We’ve identified the top 5 reasons why making this a business priority is in fact, a strategic imperative.
1. Expands qualified talent pool
More than half of professional occupations globally are held by women. Yet women account for less than a third of those employed in high-tech roles, with even fewer belonging to women of colour. This indicates that the tech sector is failing to take advantage of our diverse population and are limiting their access to top talent as a result.
2. Enhances innovation
Diverse teams solve problems better and faster. Research has confirmed that teams with 50:50 gender representation are more experimental and more efficient. Evidence also indicate that companies with inclusive cultures are 6 times more likely to be innovative and agile.
3. Promotes equality
More than half of women in tech leave the industry by the mid-point of their career, which is more than double the rate of men. Most women who stay in tech have considered leaving due to limited opportunity for advancement, unfair compensation compared to male peers and little support from management.
4. Improves bottom line
The cost of losing an employee can be 1.5-2 times higher than their salary, yet companies with more diverse teams have 22% lower turnover than those without .With staggering statistics surrounding women leaving the tech industry, the financial impact of this on businesses is substantial. Additionally, organisations with inclusive cultures are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets as those without, 3 times as likely to be high-performing and 8 times more likely to achieve better business outcomes.
5. Reflects the customer base you serve
With half of the population being female, it is almost certain that women make up a large segment of your customer base. Without females at the top, contributing to the decision-making, there is a high chance that the needs and behaviours of female customers are not being properly taken into account.
With many businesses realising the strategic imperative of having diverse talent, we are beginning to see a positive shift toward female representation in the tech industry at the hiring stage. The biggest gap that now exists is in the retention and advancement of female talent. Businesses across the tech sector need to be investing in their emerging female talent to ensure diversity in decision making at all levels, particularly at the top.