It is well known that diversity in companies is important. The multiple perspectives of a diverse team are key to innovation. (For example, a women’s perspective is needed since products are not sold to men only.) Also, as in our case, bringing on a woman into a different culture and work atmosphere, boosted team morale.
Women need to take some responsibility for pushing for change. We don’t have to try to be more like men. We are not men. Men and women are inherently different. Women, and their employers and colleagues, should realize that being different adds value.
At RyanTech, almost half of our employees are women and many occupy senior leadership roles which we feel positively encourages other women to join a technology company, particularly if it is supportive of advancing women’s careers. However, it isn’t enough simply to recruit women for jobs in tech. Employers also have to keep them. That means providing support—mentors, sponsors, and a path to promotions. We are very fortunate to have a leader in Kevin McMillen, our CEO, who is a strong advocate for the advancement of women in technology. This is proven time and time again as Microsoft continues to call on him to tell his story on how he contributes to the advancement of women in the workplace. He just returned from the Microsoft Inspire Conference in Las Vegas where he spoke at the Women in Technology breakout session. Not only is he a mentor, he is somebody who is an active champion, who is always willing to give the women in our company that first chance. A lot of women don’t have that and there’s nothing like it.
So much has been done to bridge the gap of women in technology and there is so much more that can be done. Women should never be limited by what you “think” your job has to look like. The most exciting things happen when someone brings a new perspective to the table. And with so few women in technology, that gives us a huge opening to bring our own spin to things and craft new opportunities that build on what we are passionate about.
And that is how we not only make our mark but how we can help change the world!