What Hiring Quality Women in Tech Looks Like

Posted on September 4, 2018 by .

Listen–It’s not that we actively recruit outstanding women in tech, it’s that we’re recruiting amazing developers who happen to be women.

Woman at blackboard working on scrum.

Yes, it’s 2018, yet the truth is that finding good women engineers is one tough gig. On one hand, popular opinion dictates that without a woman on your staff, you look a little, dare I say… masongonistic. Yet, on the other hand, the reality of male-to-female ratios make even an average woman developer look like a diamond in the rough. The bottom line is, hiring great females should never be for outward appearances, but for diversity of thought, talent, and worldview. As the saying goes, “If everyone was the same, what a dull world it would be.” Women on average, tend to approach problems differently and use different areas of the brain to process information compared to men. This is what makes a more rounded, dynamic team. The pool of women in tech has widened in recent years, but the fact remains, there is still a long way to go to level the playing field. So, the question is, how do companies shape their environment and culture to attract and retain the top female talent?

The BW Bacon team is a small one, but we happen to be about half-and-half when it comes to men and women on our team. We never really tried to make that happen, it just did. We believe that women naturally end up at companies with better cultures. You may get one or two if your culture is lacking, but your chances of retention are small. Women have the upper hand in this jobscape, and they don’t have to stand for poor work environments.

Changing the landscape of the job.

We shouldn’t even have to ask a woman to choose between career and family when a man does not get the same question. However, family can be a barrier to an industry of both men and women expected to work around the clock. We believe that as the landscape of the tech industry evolves, more parents will be able to juggle the demands of family and a career in tech better than previous decades. Hopefully this contributes to more women choosing to code as a career option. The landscape is changing in 3 particular areas that, when embraced, will attract more women.

Remote work

Over the last decade, we have seen a mass exodus of “office” employees migrating to “remote” jobs that allow them to work in their underwear or with a baby at their feet. We believe that as we progress, this phenomenon will allow more women to choose the tech fields that were all too consuming as a regular office gig.

Community work styles

We have also seen many modern offices switch to a more community-minded business format with everyone working laterally in Agile. Employees face each other while working, and are able to communicate their realities to each other in a productive way. This creates more of a support system that allows your employees to take care of their personal needs. Additionally, women are particularly better than men at community and socially driven work than men and thrive in these environments.

Odd hours

The fact that the tech world never sleeps is actually a good thing for the recruitment of women. This flexibility allows the opportunity to get great women who otherwise may not want or be able to work the 9-5.

Changing the way you think about women:

If you are a male-dominated company, retaining women may be a hard sell to existing male employees. Women actually LEAVE the tech field at a rate of 45% higher than men. Much of this is due to straight up bias. If you are ready to drop the bias in your company, here are a few things to start your new thinking process.

  • Hire younger employees. Younger generations are increasingly more open to non-standard gender roles and without trying are able to make women feel more comfortable.
  • This is not a Boy Scouts scenario where we are letting women into a “male” club. Women have been in tech for a long time, they just have had a harder time advancing. In fact, given the anonymity of the tech field, you may have encountered more female coders than you know.
  • If you are serious about innovating, you will start to think of the female mind as the asset it really is. Over half the population is women, and if you can’t code to that mindset, you are never really innovating.
  • Change the way you talk about women in tech. The words that come out of your mouth matter. If you influence anyone, you have the ability to make way for equality.

Changing your approach to hiring women by changing old thought patterns

Old ways of “including” women in your culture just don’t cut it anymore. It is not about women trying to be like the men in the office. Most of them are nothing like the men, and they shouldn’t HAVE to pretend. It is about letting women be who they are and embracing the differences with respect.

  • If you build a quality culture, women will be applying to your jobs because they want what you have. If your reputation precedes you, your pool of women will increase, naturally.
  • Are your rewards systems male dominated? This is not a trick question. Studies show that women and men think differently about reward. Traditional reward systems are usually those that motivate men more than women.
  • Don’t think about meeting a quota, think about how to enrich the lives of your employees and you will be surprised at the rate of people (male and female) looking to join your company.

Dig a little deeper to find your values surrounding women in the workplace, and if you’re looking to hire more quality employees (of either sex), check us out and we would be glad to help.

BWBacon @BWBacon
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