Tech companies are making little effort to attract women in their companies. This has led to the under-representation of women in these companies. only 56 percent of tech companies in the US, the UK, Canada and China have a woman in an executive position
Tech companies do not make any effort to connect with women in the tech industry. These companies have gendered recruitment practices that create a chilly environment for women looking to work in the tech industries. Although women make just a small number of people working in STEM jobs, the recruiters made little effort in trying to reach out to these demographic groups.
Women discrimination in tech companies
Silicon Valley companies have been at the forefront of fostering gender-discriminatory adverts while advertising for their jobs and products. A scenario such as, while presenting a video gaming product, a reference to porn is not uncommon. There are also jokes that are made during the presentation of products that a lot of women do not connect with. This ends up turning off these women from working in the STEM industry.
Allison Wynn, a research associate at Stanford‘s VMware Women‘s Leadership Innovation Lab, said that such situations are very common in Silicon Valley conferences. Wynn carried out a qualitative observation last year by attending 84 elite recruitment sessions at an elite west coast university. She worked with Dr. Shelley Correll and her team to determine why tech companies were not connecting with women. They blended with students and observed as different companies made presentations on why people should move to their companies.
Their observations were chilling; these companies made little or no effort to connect with women who would like to join them. Even after acknowledging a shortage of women in the industry they worked, they showed no interest in enticing more women to their fields of work.
Wynn and Correll also observed that many companies did not bother sending women in these presentations. When women were sent in these sessions, they were not treated equally by their male counterparts, with many distributing company merch or taking Curriculum vitae. They also observed that their male counterparts did not introduce them properly when addressing them.
Wynn noted that, in one instance, a male counterpart introduced a female colleague by describing her as a nice person who cries easily. The same was not applied while introducing their male collegues.
Lack of women leadership in the tech industry
Research shows that role models we see actually influences our choices. Therefore, if these companies were interested in attracting more females in the roles they were presenting, they would be sending female role models who work on these companies. They would have acted as a better motivator to young college women looking to have a carrier in tech industries.
Women are also underrepresented in positions of power in the tech world. Research done by Silicon Valley Bank Startup Outlook Survey, which looks at tech and healthcare founders in the UK, the US, Canada and China, found out that only 56 percent of companies had at least one woman in an executive role. They also found that only 40 percent had a woman on the board of directors.
Wynn summarised this by saying,
In general, I think recruiters are deeply committed to increasing diversity and inclusion, but they just don’t know how to do it, Or they don’t know just how ineffective their company’s recruiting efforts are currently.
Tech companies have to take an active role in trying to attract females from STEM in their industry. Their current approach is not working and they have to think of better ways to ensure that women are better represented in their companies. There is still a long way to go but the majority of companies are working to address this inequality.
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