It’s no secret that women are underrepresented in the world of tech. Still in 2023 women currently hold only 26.7% of tech-related jobs and this level of representation at senior leadership or CEO level reduces to just 10.9%.
Studies show that hiring women is good for business, McKinsey found that companies that have a higher level of gender diversity are 25% more likely to gain profits above the average level. Not only do companies with more diverse leadership teams perform significantly better than those without but they also make better business decisions.
To achieve progress and eliminate gender inequality in the tech industry, all individuals must make a commitment to drive change. One effective way to bring about change immediately is through allyship. Taking small steps and actions can create a significant impact toward achieving this goal.
What is allyship?
Allyship means actively promoting, supporting, and advocating for marginalised groups even if you are not part of them.
Here are 5 simple actions you can take and impact today:
If becoming an ally is something you are keen to do, then you should start with education. Educate yourself to understand the current situation. As a male ally educate yourself about gender discrimination and gender bias.
By recognising and challenging these biases, men can become strong allies for gender equality and help women to become respected in the workplace. For male leaders in tech when they speak up for women it can shift the workplace culture.
Sounds simple but such an effective way to support Women in Tech and ensure they are heard. As an ally, you can do your part by ensuring you don’t dominate conversations or unconsciously interrupt women. If you notice women getting spoken over or their ideas not being listened to, you can also call attention to it or help to bring the conversation back. Also, during meetings, these environments can be daunting for women (especially if it's their first time having a seat at the table or if they are the only women in the room) so seek involvement and opinion on topics by asking “what do you think xxx?” about what is being discussed.
3. Celebrate, hire, and promote women’s accomplishments
Building diverse teams from all backgrounds will help create a workplace where all can thrive. Celebrating and promoting women’s accomplishments within your organisation will create relatable role models and help attract and retain more women.
“If you see it, you can be it”
As an ally, you can make a conscious effort to celebrate and promote women’s accomplishments in tech and shout about them whenever you can.
4. Mentorship of women
Mentorship and sponsorship are valuable tools for women in tech. Your company may have a mentor program however if they don’t, don't wait for one to be started, actively seek out women to mentor either internally within your organisation or across a network you may be part of.
This can be by offering guidance, support, opportunities for career growth giving feedback on work, making introductions to key contacts, and advocating for their promotion or recognition (especially if you are in leadership and have that seat at the table)
5. Speaking up - See something, say something
As an ally, if you “see something, then say something”. When you witness discrimination, don’t approach them later to offer sympathy. Give them your support in the moment.
For male allies in leadership positions ensure that your organisation has a clear understanding of what is appropriate behavior and then ensure that employees have a clear way to report instances and ensure there is a safe process in place to support any issues raised.
While women in tech can work towards achieving equality for themselves, having committed and passionate allies can make a significant difference. By reflecting on our unconscious biases and actions we can modify our behavior and provide greater support. Men usually hold powerful positions in the business world, especially in the tech world, so it's critical to bring more of them on board to support gender equality. The more allies we have fighting the cause the better.
Halzak supports global tech companies build high-performing and diverse teams. As an ethical recruitment partner, we do things differently, our processes are led by inclusive and fair selection practices enabling us to bring the right talent to your business.