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How To Ensure Women’s Voices Are Heard In The Workplace

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Jun. 21 2022, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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While women in tech have come a long way, there are still many challenges ahead.

Ultimately, for women, it’s not about getting in the door. Companies must find opportunities to help support women and ensure their voices are heard. After all, data shows that 78% of women in tech feel they have to work harder than their male coworkers to prove their worth.

Creating equal opportunities is key. Many organizations are taking time to understand what they can do to improve gender equality within the workplace. Initiatives like pay transparency, providing more frequent feedback and promoting a work-life balance are linked to creating a more equitable work environment. Numbers show that companies need women in the workplace, and it’s time that organizations start to invest in them.

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More Women Mean More Success

Promotions for women happen at a slower rate than for their male counterparts. A mere 86 women are promoted to manager for every 100 men at the same level, according to McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace 2021 report.

Those numbers are even more skewed for technical roles, with only 52 women promoted to manager roles for every 100 men.

But McKinsey research has also shown that a strong relationship exists between diversity on leadership teams and the likelihood of financial outperformance for companies. More specifically, the most gender-diverse companies are 48% more likely to outperform the least gender-diverse companies.

Failing to promote and retain women in tech roles can have lasting consequences on a company’s financial and cultural livelihood. Companies where women are well represented at the top earn up to 50% higher profits and share performance.

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To develop this new environment, tech companies now understand they must provide women with more opportunities to advance. This includes:

  • Designing processes that seek to eliminate bias in promotions
  • Providing equal access to skill-building tools and opportunities
  • Providing mentors and advocates who know how to support women with empathy, encouragement and goal-oriented advice

Provide a foundation for women to grow and succeed.

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Tech companies need to show initiative and create a workplace where women have a solid foundation to thrive and succeed. To do this, workplace leaders must provide opportunities to help female employees mature in their roles and prepare them for their future within the company.

Companies can provide an enhanced, structured path to early promotions by installing manager training programs and making their expectations clear as to when promotions should be expected. This allows women to ask questions regarding their performance and/or if they’re meeting those expectations. It’s also imperative for companies to track and account for any biases that could take place. Outside of this, organizations should provide a safe and open platform for women to report any biases they experience, as transparency is vital.

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Additionally, learning opportunities focusing on prioritizing career development and how to execute strong promotional interviews can be pivotal to women’s success in the workplace.

Connecting with seasoned managers and sponsors is an essential component of upward growth. Experienced colleagues can help develop and grow female workers just starting in the tech field. Companies should take the time to ensure women are in contact with those with more experience and can further support upward mobility through formal sponsorship programs. This will only help in accelerating their performance and growth within the company.

Make your voice heard.

Women are instrumental in the success of a company. Your voice deserves to be heard. Here’s how to get it done:

  • Remember, you’re capable as anyone else of doing the job. This type of thinking will help you build your voice within a company.
  • Don’t sit on the outskirts of a meeting. You deserve to be there. Place yourself at the head of the table so to speak.
  • Don’t be overly apologetic. Just because you have an idea against the grain or is new doesn’t call for an apology. Your views and opinions are just as important as your counterparts.
  • Don’t let failure hold you back. Everyone fails from time to time. Women are no more prone to failing than men. Move on, learn from it and grow.
  • Be your advocate and have the courage to speak up even when you feel self-conscious. Work to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
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Looking Ahead

For too long, companies have failed to provide women equal opportunities in the workplace. While great strides have been made, there’s still work to be done.

Companies can take a monumental step toward a more equitable work environment by listening to the voices of the women they employ. Now, the evidence cannot be ignored — they will need women as the industry continues to become more and more prominent.

This article was written by Shraddha Pednekar and originally appeared on Switch.

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