Today’s trending topic: International Women’s Day— a day to recognize the enormous contribution of women to society, politics and business. Undoubtedly, great strides have been made towards gender equality, as depicted in popular Hollywood films such as Suffragette, The Kids are Alright, Erin Brochovich, and G.I. Jane. Although part of different movements—rights to vote, same-sex marriages, working mothers, and gender integration in the service—all of these women have one common, defining quality. Perseverance.
And it’s going to take perseverance to achieve equality, especially as it relates to global parity. A recent World Economic Forum Report, predicts that at the current pace, it will take until 2133 to achieve global parity. But what does this mean for the Information Technology industry and why does it matter?
As for the industry, women are needed in IT roles for many reasons. We need more technical engineers in general; people who build tech should represent those who use it (i.e., women conduct 70-80% of consumer purchases); and just like any other diversity element, women bring different perspectives, creative solutions, and a strong orientation to team-work. Going beyond the simple opinion that education equality for men and women is good thing—there’s an actual business case to be made for it as well.
Speaking of the business case, The Peterson Institute for International Economics and Ernst&Young made the significant discovery that “an organization with 30 percent female leaders could add up to 6 percentage points to its net margin.” Many other studies support the finding that gender diversity in business yields positive financial returns.
But the ladder to the C-Suite—especially in the IT field, which has been historically dominated by males—is tall and riddled with obstacles. To this day, women still struggle to find their way into Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) fields. This can be due to teasing, lack of role models, and internal and external marginalization. Or maybe it’s because we teach our boys to be brave and our girls to be perfect, a theory presented at a recent TedTalk by Reshma Sajani, founder of Girls Who Code.
So, where should companies begin? As with most things in life, it starts with encouragement and education at a young age. Organizations like STEM for Her and Girls in Technology work to inspire, excite, and provide opportunities for girls to pursue STEM interests, education and careers.
In support of these missions, CNSI has made a commitment to focus on the recruitment, retention and development of female employees through a formalized strategic plan. And as an IT company founded on the principals of Persistence, Perseverance, and Passion, we understand the importance of the world movement of gender equality and parity. We are excited to see what the “nextgen” of women IT innovators brings to our company, community and world.
This blog entry was written by Amanda Moskowitz, CNSI’s Marketing Communications Manager. She writes about industry trends, health care policy and essentially anything innovative. Amanda brings with her nearly a decade of private, government, and non-profit communications experience and two years performing stand-up comedy, which allows her to infuse both humility and humor into her writing. She believes that whatever the technology, there will always be a need to share the words written in our mind. Feel free to contact Amanda at Amanda.Moskowitz@cns-inc.com.