Improving Gender Diversity Within Tech Companies
The technology industry, among others, faces an inherent gender diversity problem. Such a problem brings the limited ability to respond to other issues the sector faces and, thus, affects the industry's future. This article explores the tech industry's lack of gender diversity and evaluates an alternative sector, healthcare, for comparison.
A study observed that the number of U.S. computer science jobs expected in 2020 is 1.4 million (download required). However, only 29% of those jobs will be filled due to labor shortages in the industry. Worse still, estimates show that only 3% of the jobs will be filled by women. However, labor shortages do not mean a lack of willing employees, considering more than half of women trained for technology jobs eventually leave the industry. The failure to retain such employees in an industry with labor shortages suggests there are institutional barriers, along with internal and external structural workplace challenges, that potentially inhibit their ability to showcase their talents. Therefore, the tech industry must make the work environment fair to all employees and remove inherent limitations to employees' contributions.
One factor leading to the absence of gender diversity in many tech companies is a poor industry culture that promotes anti-diversity biases. Such biases introduce unintentional discrimination that may lead to poor decision-making in an organizational management structure. When left unchecked, biases become part of recruitment, appraisal and promotion policies for a firm.