The technology industry is renowned for its demanding roles and fast-paced environment, where innovation, adaptability, and rapid scalability are highly valued. However, this relentless pursuit of progress has its drawbacks. Technology professionals find it challenging to strike a harmonious work-life balance that accommodates their familial commitments, personal interests, and overall well-being.
A recent World Bank report highlights a striking statistic: globally, 43% of women STEM students are located in India. While this figure may seem impressive, the reality tells a different story. Despite enrolling in STEM courses, a significant number of women struggle to complete their studies or opt out early in their professional careers. To cultivate a truly inclusive culture, it is crucial for tech organisations to acknowledge the obstacles faced by many tech professionals. Thus, the need of the hour is to establish a balanced and innovative environment and wholeheartedly commit to fostering workplace equity and inclusivity.
In recent years, organisations across the industry have recognised the vital importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, taking notable strides to promote these values. It is imperative to understand how people’s identities and their experiences can significantly impact the workplace environment. This interpretation is essential in creating spaces prioritising all team members' well-being. It also means that leaders in the tech industry must analyse their current attitudes, biases, and practices and develop strategies that promote diversity, inclusion, and equity.
The Magnet Effect: Women attract women
While many organisations have focused on hiring more women in tech, these efforts often fall short when it comes to creating an inclusive environment for women by understanding the intercultural dynamics between our experiences with gender. For instance, women all too often face an interview panel that does not look like them.
To make the tech industry more inclusive, a concerted effort is required to recruit and retain women. As an initial step, it is vital that during the hiring process, the recruitment team embodies the values and principles the organisation strives to establish, to identify women candidates who can contribute to and strengthen the pre-existing culture. More women in leadership roles also address this purpose. By prioritising focused efforts, culture, and values, organisations can promote equal gender representation in the tech industry.
The role of training in building a high-performance culture
Proper orientation and training are imperative to creating a more inclusive workplace for women employees. Training can prove to be a powerful tool for promoting gender equity.
A comprehensive onboarding process and regular interactions can impressively improve new hire experiences and overall retention. Development programs aimed at helping women return to work after a career break also help them regain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to re-start their career journey.
Fostering a culture where people feel heard is possible only when leadership development and training are prioritised across levels. Employees who have the courage to rotate into new roles and ultimately be promoted within an organisation may feel overwhelmed and underprepared for the new responsibilities. In such situations, it is essential to go the extra mile and provide additional work knowledge and education to support them. This helping approach benefits the individual employee and creates a culture that values its team members. Furthermore, by incorporating training to address the needs of women employees, companies can promote gender equity and create a high-performance culture that will benefit all employees.
The ripple effect of valuing others - it improves work culture
Businesses go the extra mile to make their customers happy. Tech organisations sell solutions to their customers, which are driven by their people—their employees. People are the assets of any organisation; by prioritising their mental health and well-being will help ensure they have the best experience each day of their work life, businesses can benefit immensely.
One of the most significant parts of feeling valued at the workplace is feeling free to offer suggestions, feedback, and constructive criticism when necessary. Establishing a safe environment for constructive dialogue, which can ultimately enhance interpersonal connections and productivity, creates an inclusive atmosphere for all.
Listening - a powerful tool to execute actions, get desired results
Leaders must prioritise the well-being and development of their team members, yet only some recognise the importance of emotional intelligence alongside intellectual knowledge. Leaders lacking emotional intelligence can negatively impact the company culture and should be evaluated and addressed to prevent cultural misalignments. To create a more inclusive and equitable tech industry, culture and care as values must be actively supported and embraced through collaboration with team members.
Bridging the gender equity gap is the need of the hour
Building a more equitable global tech culture requires a deep understanding of a professional’s challenges, from balancing work and personal life to facing systemic barriers to entry and advancement. Doing so can not only attract diverse talent but also improve employee retention. Additionally, prioritising tailored training programs (as elaborated earlier) can foster an inclusive and positive workplace culture. It is vital to support these initiatives with sustainable actions that promote advancement and create an equitable tech industry for people of all genders while promoting growth.