By the start of 2020, in the technology industry, women had leadership positions in new-age technology areas such as software development, information technology, AI/ML/Data Science, Cloud, Big Data, IoT, Security, UI/UX, project management, and blockchain.
Analyzing the software talent pool, among the eight roles identified, namely, DevOps engineer, Mobile engineer, QA engineer, Cyber security engineer, Frontend engineer, Backend engineer, ML engineer, Full-stack engineer, QA engineer is the most gender diverse role with 37% women in the role.
However, the pandemic has impacted the significant strides women have made. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected women, especially of color. Workforce planning must correct the impact on gender diversity.
Why Gender Diversity Translates to Outperformance?
A global study in 2020 found that 20% of women find representation in senior leadership roles across organizations. However, there is a decrease in the number among minority groups.
Gender diversity is good for workforce planning, not because it is laudable, but it makes sense to a company’s bottomline. Teams with gender diversity outperform others financially by 15%. Numerous studies have attributed to the values gender diversity brings.
- Increased employee satisfaction – Gender diversity correlates with superior performance. Diversity practices seem to be a statistically significant relationship between diversity practices and employee engagement for everyone, not just women. Additionally, happy workers create more innovative products and prevent talent management from finding replacements.
- Promotes diverse talent – Family-life balance, flexible working programs, and family leaves may drive outperformance for various reasons. It could help companies in competitive markets attract top talent and give workforce planning an edge in countries experiencing shrinking and an aging workforce while hiring essential workers.
- Promotes innovation – A room with similar experiences and perspectives creates unintentional blind spots in decision-making, but a diverse view improves it. Diverse perspectives can lead to innovative services and products, allowing companies to tap into new markets and add new revenue sources.
- Avoid reputational risk – Sexual harassment, wage disputes, pay gaps, and a host of other complaints may keep people out of companies. Though these issues may arise at diverse workplaces, investors will avoid these reputation risks that arise from companies without a written policy that outlaws unfairness.
Analyzing Gender Diversity in Tech
Even while climbing the corporate ladder, women occupy 50% and 33% at the Director and VP levels, and about 17% of the women tech leaders reach the CXO positions, compared to 30% among men. At the VP level, 34% of men reach the VP level.
71% of men leaders and 29% of women leaders are employed in hi-tech across the analyzed 50 locations in the United States. Albany and Sacramento employ most women at 32%, followed by Orlando (31%), Hartford (31%), Greater Philadelphia area (30%), and Jacksonville (30%).
While most companies struggle to maintain gender diversity, Workday (40%), Fiserv (39%), and Oracle (32%) have relatively better gender diversity in their software engineering roles in the US. In Amazon, 42% of their staff are women. In the managerial position, the number is 27%.
The number of women in each level is due to the following reasons:
- Inadequate maternity benefits.
- Below average compensation.
- Lack of effective communication with management.
- Lack of flexible work arrangements.
Acquiring and Retaining Gender-Diverse Talent
The fact that gender-diverse teams outperform less diverse and less engaged teams is enough for workforce planning teams to increase diversity in business units and create workplaces that engage employees.
Workforce planning teams must inspire open, trusting, and supportive relationships among coworkers. It unleashes the power of diversity by enabling employees to turn their differences in thought, behavior, skills, and knowledge into innovative ideas and practices that can drive a company forward.
Secondly, a blanket policy in workforce planning may not get you the desired results. Gender diversity varies substantially across business units within a company, which may affect the performance of those business units.
Workforce planning must look carefully at the gender balance at specific units when designing and implementing a strategy to increase diversity and bring tangible results. Teams made gender diverse to fill quotas may brew trouble. Instead, workforce planning must use platforms driven by artificial intelligence to acquire and manage talent.
If a business unit is not diverse, managers must provide reasons. Teams must use gender-agnostic tech platforms to track progress, so skills and abilities get weightage than gender or experience.
Draup’s talent intelligence platform enhances your workforce planning with analytics across the entire spectrum of operations. It enables you to analyze existing skills against future needs. It assists you in planning cost-effectively.
While the Diversity Navigator helps you avoid common diversity pitfalls, the Reskilling Navigator enables workforce planning to empower the talent pool to create invaluable learning modules.