I never really think about the ratio of men to women in the technology industry until I travel to conferences, where I find myself in the minority. The more technical the event, the fewer the women attendees, historically speaking.
The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology has just published a series of best practices that technology solution providers might want to consider if they are trying to expand their hiring and recruiting practices to pull in more possible, qualified candidates — both female and male.
These ideas are included in a new report, “Solutions to Recruit Technical Women,” and here is a thumbnail of the strategies:
- Make managers accountable for specific hiring goals, ones that might more accurately reflect the makeup of your customer accounts
- Ensure that your company’s culture supports the inclusion of women or other candidates you are trying to attract
- Evaluate your job descriptions, especially to make sure they don’t reinforce gender stereotypes
- Include women in the recruiting and hiring process
- Make sure that a viable female candidate is considered for every open technical position
- Institute a “blind” resume screening process, so that candidates are considered solely on their credentials and experience
- Measure your company’s progress, if you’re trying to change the makeup of your staff
Of course, it is difficult for me to write a blog like this because I AM a woman, so automatically I have a bias to be favorable to ideas like this.
I will state that I have never ever been one interested in quotas or diversity requirements; I feel that even just increasing the awareness of these things can go a long way toward starting to change things. Most of the time, the fact that a company has few women on the team isn’t a strategy that was adopted intentionally. But if your company has any desire to change this sort of thing, it will need to be proactive in order to change hiring habits of the past.