Tech is a male-dominated industry. You know this, but it doesn’t have to be that way for girls in tech. There are several ways in which companies can help women succeed in technology, and they don’t have to be drastic changes either! Here’s what you might have seen over the years working with female developers who have been successful despite the challenges they face:
Mentoring programs are a positive way to help women succeed in technology. Not only do they give women the tools they need to stay in their fields, but mentoring programs can also help them find new jobs if they are considering leaving the industry. Mentoring programs will also offer opportunities for career advancement as well as other benefits that might not be available through other avenues, such as networking events and workshops.
Create a sense of belonging
If you drive the leadership force, take the opportunity to get to know your male and female employees. Whether at an annual company event or just over lunch, make sure your employees feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves.
If you’re not in a leadership position, ask for support from those who are. People may be more receptive if they see that you respect them enough to look for advice on how much time we should spend on social media daily (yes, really). And remember: You don’t have to do everything yourself!
As per Intuit believes, “Creating an environment that encourages girls from an early age to pursue technology fields is essential in advancing their participation in the workforce.”
Be a sponsor, not just a mentor
Mentors are great, but sponsors are more powerful. Mentors are experts in their field who can help with career development and networking. They can offer advice and guidance on developing your skill set or even give you a pep talk when you need it.
Mentors are not quite as influential as sponsors, however. Instead, sponsors invest resources in helping someone they believe in achieving their goals. Rather than giving advice every once in a while when asked—that makes all the difference.
Before you can get the most from your employees, you have to give them the time and space they need to do their jobs. Micromanaging is defined as “overly controlling someone’s behavior or work, typically in a way that shows a lack of trust.” It is incredibly difficult for women in technology because it comes with a host of other issues: more stress, less productivity and overall unhappiness at work.
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Offer paid maternity and paternity leave
- A growing body of research indicates that paid paternity leave benefits fathers, their children and the family unit.
- Employees need time off to bond with their children and recover from childbirth when they have babies. A company should offer paid maternity leave because it will help women maintain a healthy work-life balance while also giving them time to recover physically and mentally from childbirth or adoption (or surrogacy).
These are just a few ways in which a company can help women succeed in technology. It’s important to remember that all contribute to building an inclusive environment, and it doesn’t take much effort on our part to do so.