Added: Sally Bradley - Date: 09.10.2021 12:49 - Views: 28012 - Clicks: 5556
She has ificant experience in advising the c-suite, especially CIOs and technology executives, to enable them to create lasting enterprise value and manage the challenges and changes in business, technology, and their executive roles. She has a year track record of developing and delivering successful business technology programs for the leaders of global enterprises. Kristi is passionately committed to helping to advance diversity, equity and inclusion for our people, firm and communities and is a respected thought leader and vocal advocate on the topic.
She is responsible for leading teams and delivering programs focused on strategically advising CIOs and technology leaders on managing rapid IT changes within organizations while providing perspectives on the evolution of their roles. See something interesting? Simply select text and choose how to share it:. Aniyah enjoyed her role as a divisional technology executive within a large financial banking enterprise, but she frequently grappled with the cultural expectation of long work hours, few advancement opportunities, and lack of women role models.
So, when her spouse received a job offer in another state, Aniyah reflected on her year career and realized it was time to consider all her options. Family planning had become a serious topic in her partnership, and while she wasn't prepared to write off all future work in technology, she decided to pause her own career to focus on what mattered most at this life stage.
Unfortunately, Aniyah is not alone. A study featured in Harvard Business Review reported that the attrition rate for women in technology is more than twice the rate for men. But many leave the workforce entirely, at least temporarily, to attend to family responsibilities, further their education, or pursue personal interests figure 1. So how can technology executives reverse this trend? No one has all the answers, but our research and interviews with CIOs and tech leaders reveal a wide range of approaches that, when combined, can lead to comprehensive strategies deed to recruit and retain talented experienced women and other underrepresented groups.
An objective of these strategies is to advance more women into senior leadership roles so they may inspire, mentor, and serve as role models for those coming up behind them. Over time, these strategies and behaviors can contribute to an inclusive, diverse workforce that supports enterprise innovation and growth as we explored in Paving diverse paths to technology leadership and Innovating for all. While our focus is primarily on women in technology, many of the approaches may also apply to other underrepresented groups. For women with access to secondary resources and opportunities, leaving their jobs may be a viable solution to ending immediate discrimination or unrealistic expectations.
Others may continue in stagnant, often disappointing, careers because exiting their role is not a viable option due to economic, health, or support network limitations.
Even companies that are recognized among the best workplaces for women face stiff competition for acquiring women technologists. As a result, tech leaders are becoming increasingly focused on devising and enhancing recruiting methods to attract and recruit women from often overlooked talent pools. It may seem obvious, but to find diverse candidates and reverse cultural trends, companies need to look in places besides the traditional, well-known sources.
A trailblazer in this space is Microsoft, whose mission is inherently inclusive: to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. One way they do this is by starting early. Our goal is to help them grow their skills, discover a passion for tech, and envision a future filled with possibility. Through a variety of programs, they are rethinking where they look for talent and how they can reach people from ly untapped talent pools—talent from outside of the traditional academic path such as veterans, workers transitioning from other industries or life phases, and people with autism.
Partnerships are key to forging new pathways. Many companies may lack adequate in-house resources or specialized knowledge required to quash adverse cultural trends that have been years in the making, especially when looking for tech talent with in-demand skills. Developing partnership programs and building relationships with external entities can offer companies access to a virtual rolodex, expanding their recruiting network. Sometimes companies need help to enhance their recruiting strategies. Entities such as iRelaunch and Path Forward help companies with their return-to-work initiatives.
Other companies possess a ready-made, yet often overlooked, source of potential diverse technologists. Our team created a development program for customer-facing employees—putting them in product technology groups for six-months rotations. Many of them have moved into full-time tech roles. By hiring technologists who reflect the makeup of their markets, T-Mobile believes it can deliver the best product experience to their customers. Of course, there are challenges.
Sanford finds recruiting diverse technologists is easier in some geographies than others. Given the massive shift to remote work, CIOs, such as Sanford, may also be able recruit untapped technology talent independent of geographical boundaries. As the COVID pandemic shifted a substantial percentage of the US workforce to remote work overnight, executives found that worker effectiveness and productivity remained stable, if not increased.
In this sense, the pandemic has been a proof of concept of sorts. This new way of working offers a tremendous opportunity for companies to reimagine their strategies and policies to recruit and retain women technologists. Take a step back, be honest, and remove ego.
Additionally, relationships between employers and employees may continue despite career pauses or organizational exits. Former employees can be brand ambassadors, potential clients or vendors for future work, referral sources for additional recruits, or even future talent, if they opt to return. Those who do return may have refreshed career goals or even want to pursue a new career path; programs such as apprenticeships and returnships can provide the care and attention needed by diverse, experienced women reentering the workforce.
Many high-caliber women who leave technology careers or make a career change may face obstacles getting back into the workforce. Many encounter biases over gaps on their s, especially as technology evolves at a rapid pace. How leaders and hiring managers for technology organizations embrace the different variables will determine if women such as Aniyah can find a foothold to return to technology again. A growing of companies are actively pursuing this pool of diverse talent by offering returnship programs, which is a career reentry program deed for those who took pause of a year or more from the workforce.
At the end of a returnship, employers have the option to hire returners as full-time employees. The pilot ran from November to Maywith the hope of filling six engineering, project management, and analyst roles. The company selected six returners from more than applicants, prioritizing problem-solving and critical-thinking capabilities, rather than existing technical skills or platform proficiencies. Based on the success of the first cohort, T-Mobile expanded the returnship program to accommodate 20 returners for another six-month program that began in November While this may paint a disappointing picture, we see the glass half full—we believe this indicates that returnship programs could provide a ificant opportunity for CIOs and technology executives to recruit experienced women technologists.
Of course, technology organizations should consider connecting with experienced return-to-work partners. In addition to career development, participants are provided opportunities to learn from each other and network with other Deloitte professionals. Maria Wright, today a senior consultant with Deloitte, is an Encore alumna. None of us had to go through it alone. She shared key lessons learned and best practices gathered over the years. One of the critical success factors for converting Encore participants into Deloitte professionals is the active involvement of senior business leaders. They ensure that the participants have meaningful hands-on projects and training that provide the skills and confidence that participants need to be successful.
Some of the most successful Encore women have possessed strong soft skills, such as effective communication and learning agility, that are critical to successful leadership. With these foundational capabilities, participants typically pick up new technical skills quickly. Informal networking events, ideally in-person, provide opportunities for the cohort participants to get to know each other and create their own support group, which can last long after the program ends.
Deloitte relies on strong relationships with both internal and external partners to promote the program and recruit Encore participants. These partners also provide insights on leading practices to keep the Encore program current and effective. Apprenticeships offer another recruiting strategy. While returnship programs support reentry into the workforce, apprenticeship programs focus on training and developing talent for technology roles.
Through their Leap apprenticeship program, Microsoft looks for unconventional talent, such as career-transformers, who may not have a computer science background but do have a passion for technology. We are grateful and proud of our strong partnership with over coding academies and bootcamps nationwide. According to Priyadarshini, they considered a few key metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of Microsoft Leap: 1 Employability in tech industry: Ninety-eight percent of Leap graduates land full-time engineering roles at Microsoft and other technology companies; 2 Variety of pathways available to develop the talent for today and the future: Roles include software engineer, technical program manager, support engineer, UX deer, business program manager, cleared software engineer, data analyst; and 3 Scalability: Microsoft Leap started its first cohort of eight women engineers including returning moms in —now its footprint includes Vancouver in Canada, multiple cities in the United States, Latin America, and Africa.
Similarly, Slack is on a mission to increase the of underrepresented individuals within its company—as well as the entire tech industry. At Slack, we understand talent is evenly distributed—opportunity is not. So, my one priority was ensuring we had partners who are experts in all the different aspects the program needed to be successful.
The second priority was to think about how a program like this will be perceived by our employees.
Most tech sector employees have never spent time in prison or even know anybody who is incarcerated; their impressions of this population are based on what they have seen in movies and TV. To bridge this gap, we held numerous all-hands meetings to talk about the United States criminal justice system and why a program like this can be metamorphic for the millions of justice-involved individuals. We also took hundreds of our employees and executives to San Quentin State Prison to meet the incarcerated folks who are working to change their lives.
This was by no means an easy feat. While the program did align apprentices to roles, Slack also needed to work with partners to address and navigate legal complexities and sensitivities since many companies do not allow people with felony conviction to access customer data. The Next Chapter pilot was successful; three formerly incarcerated individuals completed the eight-month paid engineering apprenticeship program and were hired by Slack as full-time engineers.
The second cohort at Slack, Zoom, and Dropbox also included a mother of a young toddler. As evidence of its success, the Next Chapter program now has a waitlist of technology sector companies that want to participate. While returnship and apprenticeship programs may result in phenomenal talent from nontraditional channels, these recruiting strategies are only a few of the many opportunities to discover and invest in talented people who can strengthen teams and enrich communities.
When recruits are supported by development and advancement, watching them bloom can become a fulfilling reward resulting from an inclusive workplace. Recruiting experienced, diverse technology candidates is only half the battle. Retaining them requires leadership commitment to a holistic DEI strategy that cultivates an inclusive culture figure 4.
Our interviews with CIOs and technology leaders reinforced this statistic. The opportunity to make a difference in DEI was the No. The approach to diversity and inclusion must be holistic, Priyadarshini shared. Without inclusion, the power of diversity remains untapped. Not surprisingly, equitable compensation is a key factor in recruiting and retaining top-caliber women. But achieving pay parity is easier said than done.
However, there is a ificant pay difference between genders as women advance toward leadership roles. Across 17 companies that provided career-level salary data, pay parity was seen at the intern and executive levels. With caregiving responsibilities falling primarily on women, having flexible work schedules is another key to retaining and attracting women technologists in mid-career. Others may return to work with a phased-in schedule, starting part-time and eventually transitioning to full-time.
When companies release all the traditional boundaries of what a workday looks like, they really open themselves up to attracting and retaining top talent. Some companies have found that even when a technologist decided to leave full-time employment, perhaps to care for or elderly parent, the technology organization could maintain a connection with her by asing remote, part-time, or contract project work, allowing her to maintain her skills, confidence, and workplace relationships and network.
The most effective way to retain high-potential women is for leaders to demonstrate personal interest in moving them forward. Having a role model and supportive peers can make a big difference for women looking to start or advance in a technology career.
For insights into how mentorship for girls and women can help build your talent pipeline, read our publication, Cracking the code: How CIOs are redefining mentorship to advance diversity and inclusion. The tech leaders we spoke with reinforce the importance of personal attention and support for women and underrepresented groups. Like many of our clients, Deloitte is focusing on embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion into every aspect of our enterprise. As part of that commitment, we launched a strategic initiative focused on gender equity in technology led by Kristi Lamar.
There is no silver bullet, and no one has all the answers, so leadership in action, internal collaboration, and external partnerships are fundamental to developing effective approaches. Lamar and Rowan are tackling gender bias from different angles, but they share a belief that a personalized approach is key to recruiting, developing, and retaining women in technology roles. Data can help talent leaders understand candidate personas and potential gaps, but it cannot end there.Looking for an experienced woman
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