When most people think of tech industry hubs like Silicon Valley, they are usually quick to envision an open office plan filled with casually dressed employees that come in all different ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, and gender. In reality, the tech field is lacking in diversity and is in dire need of an overhaul in order to live up to the ideals of progressiveness and innovation that they promote within their organizations and to the world.
To put things into perspective, 76% of all technical jobs are held by men while blacks make up 11% of the US workforce but only 9% of STEM workers, while Latinos make up 16% of the US workforce but only 7% of all STEM workers. These numbers provide a grim insight into the reality of what awaits women and people of color who are looking to break into the tech field. Luckily, a number of decision makers all across the industry have become aware of the issue and have come to think of a number of strategies to remedy the issue. A number of these strategies have been particularly effective in bringing in more women to the STEM field as well as leadership roles. To ensure that your company doesn’t also fall victim to a lack of women amongst your ranks, pay very close attention to the following strategies mentioned in this blog.
Don’t procrastinate, begin as early as possible
A big problem for many startups is that they initially build a pool of homogenous talent within their first few waves of hires, although they may not be considering female talent at first and may just look for whoever may be the best fit, this usually ends up setting a trend that causes future employees to look and act the same as your initial pool of hires. According to Aubrey Blanche, the Global Head of Diversity at Atlassian, “Getting a first woman on the team is a lot easier when there are only three employees and they’re all men, as opposed to when there are 20 that are all men. Invest early. You’ll have to put in less effort over the life of your company when you do.” This is known as diversity debt, which is a term used to describe when a company procrastinates in trying to strengthen their diversity and just ends up digging themselves in a deep hole where they make it harder on themselves when trying to remedy the issue and bring more women in. That’s because your first group of hires will typically set the tone for a workplace culture that will outlive their tenure and will become a permanent part of the company. To get around this, try to bring women on as soon as you can so you can set the standard early and ensure that you’re building a culture that values diversity and inclusiveness.
Use video interviewing software
Sometimes the reason your organization is lacking women isn’t that you’re deliberately overlooking them, it can just be because there aren’t enough female candidates in the area. This is especially true if you’re in an area that doesn’t have a large tech industry presence. In order to get around this, you should consider utilizing video interviewing software as part of your recruiting strategy. With the help of video interview software, you’ll be able to interview women all over the country, thus widely expanding your pool of potential talent. Not only that, but video interviewing comes with a number of other benefits:
- Your recruiters are able to save time by not having to play phone tag with candidates when trying to schedule interviews.
- Candidates are able to record their answers whenever they want, wherever they want. So they get to put their best foot forward.
- You’re able to interview a much larger pool of candidates in a much shorter amount of time.
To gain a better understanding of how video interviews can help you bring in more female talent, click here to book a demo with Wepow to see first hand how video interviewing software can strengthen your organization.
Adopt a generous maternity leave policy
One of the best ways of ensuring that women feel comfortable working for your organization is by offering a maternity leave policy that ensures they’ll have enough time to take care of their family. Kristin Sverchek, the in-house lawyer for Lyft, was their first employee to utilize maternity leave and helped build the plans that resulted in three months paid maternity leave as well as three weeks paternity leave. It’s important to understand that these policies aren’t just so that your company can come off as being modern, they’re put in place so your female employees know that you don’t interpret them parenting children as an impediment to their careers. Keep in mind that three months for paternity leave and three weeks paternity leave are standard in the tech industry.
The tech field still has a long way to go before it can label itself as a bastion of progressive values and true meritocracy. One way to fix the issue is by doing your part to attract female candidates using the strategies stated above. Also, to learn more on why video interviewing can help you attract more female candidates, click here to book a demo with Wepow.