6 Solutions to Make #WomenInTech’s Lives Better
On August 26, 1920, women in the US were granted the right to vote. Since 1971, Women’s Equality Day is the country’s official anniversary of that day and how far we’ve come on our journey to equality — and how far we’ve got left to go. In celebration of Women’s Equality Day, we’re reflecting on how technology can help escalate this journey.
While there isn’t yet an app to nullify gender inequality issues in the workplace completely, several products/projects are working to reduce bias and improve gender diversity at work. Below are 6 problems we’ve seen in the tech industry, and how technology is working to help solve them.
Problem #1: The pipeline for women in STEM is lacking or leaky.
Solution: There are a LOT of organizations aimed at getting girls interested in STEM careers, such as Black Girls Code, CoderDoJo, Connect to Learn, Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Who Code, and Makers. In addition, several organizations are working to bring women already in the workforce into STEM careers from wherever they are now: Hackbright Academy, Ada Developers Academy; Ladies Learning Code, Girl Develop It, and many, many more.
Problem #2: Tech job postings are written poorly and women don’t apply because it doesn’t seem like something “for them”.
Solution: Textio — analyzes job postings for bias and helps company’s craft clear job descriptions with less bias.
Problem #3: Companies want diverse teams, but conscious or unconscious bias in the hiring process leads to a lack of diversity in candidates and hires.
Solution: Several companies are working to develop software to remove unconscious bias from the hiring process, including Unitive, which includes help with writing job descriptions, reviewing resumes, building interview questions and schedules and collecting feedback; TalentSonar which removes names, contact information, and other identifying features from resumes so that hiring managers can focus on skills and experience; Blendoor, a “blind recruiting” app that conceals candidates’ photos and names to prevent bias; and Pymetrics, who has developed a series of “short games” to match applicants with compatible careers/companies and Hacker Rank, a skills-based platform, allows programmers to be discovered and evaluated based on their real-life coding skills.
Problem #4: Startup CEOs want to create racial, ethnic, and gender diverse company cultures that are friendly to all types of people, but don’t know where to start.
Solution: Project Include has crafted a set of customizable recommendations for you, as CEOs, leaders, and managers, to accelerate diversity and inclusion within your startups. Additionally, Glassbreakers in San Francisco offers “inclusion software” for employee retention.
Problem #5: With all of the bad experiences you hear about, it’s hard to tell what companies will be “good” for diverse employees.
Solution: Several sites have launched that allow employees to share their experiences anonymously about whether or not a company is good for diverse candidates. Good for POC includes a list of companies providing an inclusive and safe work environment for people of color in tech and websites like Doxa and Fairygodboss help you find companies where female employees can thrive.
Problem #6: Founders and VCs don’t “see” diverse board member candidates and end up selecting from a small pool of men within their network for their boards.
Solution: theBoardlist has created a database of highly qualified, recommended women in tech to serve as independent directors on your startup board. theBoardlist was created based on the notion of expanding decision makers’ trusted networks through peer-based recommendations. Similarly, Power to Fly and Hire Tech Ladies have created searchable databases of qualified women in the tech industry that help broaden the candidate pool for other tech jobs.
It’s Gonna be the Future Soon
When we reflect on the world our grandmothers or great-grandmothers grew up in, it’s stunning how far we’ve come as a nation. While there is still a lot of work to do, American women run Fortune 500 companies, are candidates for the highest political office, and dominated the most recent Olympics. While technology might not be the magic wand to erase decades of inequality and bias, it can work to level the playing field.
Searching for an independent director? Want to recommend your fabulous executive colleagues? Visit theboardlist.com/join to learn more about joining us.