Margaret Thatcher once said, “In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman.” This was said back in the 1960s, and today, even with all the progress that has been made, women are still a minority in the technology workforce.
According to a recent Tech Nation report that examined diversity in UK tech companies, women make up just 19% of the tech workforce, and 77% of director roles in the tech industry were occupied by men. Similarly, in the United States, 47% of the workforce is made up of women; however, only 25% hold computing roles.
It is surprising that women today are not taking more leadership roles in the tech industry, which begs the question – why? The overall corporate benefit of having women in senior tech positions has proven to promote employee welfare, boost creativity, and yield higher ROI.
Women Supporting Employees as Managers
In a recent report by Leanin.org and Mckinsey, women managers, compared to their male counterparts, are doing more to support employees, which includes helping them maintain a work-life balance, prioritize assignments, and check in regularly.
In fact, one woman was quoted in the report saying, “I feel so much responsibility for my team’s well-being. There is no line between the workday and the after-work day. We’re really underestimating the impact this is having on people personally and emotionally. I’m taking care of everybody. I will regularly have conversations with my team, ‘How are you feeling? What do you need? Can I remove barriers?”
This could be why The Harris Poll study proves that half of US employees would rather work for women-led companies and 71% of employees felt inspired by woman managers believing that they can also rise to a leadership position.
“The rules were written more than 100 years ago for and by men and are no longer working in today’s modern workplace,” said Shelley Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient. “This research shows that more than half of Americans prefer to work with female-led companies, illustrating that leadership norms are changing to help create cultures of care.”
The Untapped Recruitment Opportunity
I’ve been in high-tech for over 20 years, growing from Junior to Senior Marketing positions, observing the important roles women played in the different organizations I worked for and worked with and how they impacted the company’s leadership.
One of the greatest challenges for tech companies and for Arbe is recruiting. If an organization is successful in attracting women, it doubles its potential talent pool. I believe that one of the more successful methods to engage potential female candidates and position the company at the forefront of this recruiting space is to show women in leadership positions.
When potential employees see there are women in management, it makes it easier for them to choose to join the organization and see the potential to grow and evolve in it.
Gender Diversity Leads to Creative Diversity
Having a balanced management team of both men and women brings diversity in creativity and point of view. While men may have a similar view to each other, women can often bring a unique perspective to a situation or problem.
In fact, as the Chief Marketing Officer at Arbe, I often need to understand the different perspectives of the market, which involves putting myself in the mind of the customer. What are their pain points? What keeps them up at night?
Being able to get inside the mind of the customer so that we can better market to their needs is a huge advantage that I am uniquely able to do. When you juggle the multiple tasks of being a professional, mother, friend, and wife – understanding the perspective of the individuals around you comes naturally, which then translates into my job – whether it understands a customer, a colleague, or an investor.
Diverse management teams show better performance in all studies conducted from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.
In Credit Suisse’s 2021 ‘Gender 3000’ report, they found that companies with a strong female senior management representation resulted in a ‘diversity premium,’ which equals higher returns and lower volatility. Credit Suisse’s head of global ESG research Eugène Klerk, stated that “the higher the female representation across the companies we cover, the better share price returns we have observed since 2010.”
While we have the data to show the benefit of women-led companies, what is still lacking is women filling more senior roles in the tech industry as VCs, senior managers, and entrepreneurs. With the major technology boom that the world is experiencing, let’s see how many more women take the helm, making Thatcher’s remarks all that more true.
About the Author
Shlomit is a seasoned marketer with over 20 years of experience in developing marketing strategies, launching products, and building brand awareness. Prior to joining Arbe, Shlomit was CMO and executive marketer in organizations such as DEEP, Collabrium, Viaccess Orca, Comverse, and Check Point. Shlomit graduated with an MBA from the Technion Institution.