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Enhancing Diversity in a Tech Company

In 2017, only 17% of startup founders are women who receive 3% of funding. These numbers are dismal when women represent 50% of the world’s population. Women-founded companies are capable of generating 150% more revenue per dollar invested and gender diverse teams make better business decisions by 73%, bringing more scope and awareness to opportunities and vulnerabilities. They are also more efficient and overall diversity increases these metrics even further. Having women in a tech startup will bring about different mindsets, world views and challenges - a guaranteed formula for success to solving problems.

Women in tech matters so that they can champion future generations of women to not only join but surpass the existing work done today. Each generation is responsible for paving the way for the next in line and bettering them. Good men in tech, who see women as equals, are needed to support and sponsor women to encourage their growth and guide them towards true success in this field. How do we then empower women? Companies can apply gender quotas for recruitment and implement programs that help to build women’s confidence. Quotas might be a blurry tool but they have the effect of modifying behaviour and focusing minds on results which are much needed in a corporate environment, especially the presence of explicit and implicit biases in the tech industry that have been consistently demonstrated to favor recruitment of men. Programs like ELEVACAO’s Pitch Ready Program have proven to be successful for women tech founders, who have won TechCrunch Battlefield Australia, bootstrapping to $1m ARR and 800,000 app downloads, preparing to IPO – a few accomplishments to be named post-graduation.

Women founders should be provided network-building opportunities that will allow them better access to capital and ease the process of building great teams. The creation of such a powerful, supportive ecosystem that advances opportunities for female entrepreneurs requires the assistance of investors to mentor, advise and provide access to advisors and capital: a critical attribute to success for high performing tech entrepreneurs. It is also vital to have women in a startup’s leadership team - by hiring more women in leadership positions, it will set the trend for more diverse hires and more women would be interested in taking up jobs and having women as their mentors. Firms with at least one woman on the board outperformed their peer groups by 26% over a six-year period, emphasizing that diversity matters - people who are different from us makes us more creative and hardworking. This ties in nicely with higher profits which is the result of increased creativity, skill diversity and improved decision-making.

Why should we encourage females to learn coding? It is not about an equal playing field, feminism, opening up glass ceilings or filling quotas - it is about truly solving problems for the future of the world. Children are observed to approach tasks in different ways with different mindsets. Boys were deemed to pick up coding concepts fast, were highly competitive and designed goal oriented, highly efficient programs. Girls on the other hand took twice as much time to complete the task, yet they discussed different available options, considered design and color schemes - they completed the task differently. This emphasizes the importance and value of different approaches used in problem-solving. Women, in particular, bring together a range of approaches rather than sticking to a straightforward path.

How do we then encourage girls to code? We can start off by creating conducive environments that welcome women. By appreciating the fact that everyone thinks differently and that they can tap into their creativity, this will inspire girls to learn the language of the future – code. Improving the range of girls who are excited about coding will lead to a greater diversity of thinking and problem solving that will be in the next generation of leaders, designers, thinkers – who can bring new and surprising solutions to the problems we face in the future.

The best way to support women is to treat them like any other teammate: listen, give credence to their expertise, and help champion them internally. So let us all listen to each other and reap the benefits together, making the world a more profitable, diverse and efficient place. Here at AwanTunai we strongly believe that women play an integral role in all aspects of our business, so come join us today!

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