Hire STEM women: it’s good for business

Ahead of Information Age’s Tech Leaders Summit, the CEO and co-founder of our media partner — Hire STEM Women — discusses how organisations can effectively… hire STEM women.

Diversity is important it gives us access to a range of ideas and new ways of thinking. A solid D&I strategy would shape your organisation to attract concrete talent to deliver effective results.

Research by Mckinsey & Co has shown that top-team ethnic and cultural diversity is correlated with profitability — leaders play an instrumental role in shaping concrete diversity initiatives, it’s important to be able to relate to people and to be able to adapt to a varying audience from different backgrounds. At Hire STEM Women we are committed to bridging the gender diversity gap and work with a number of corporate partners to ensure employers have the right approach to diversity, in my experience the most successful organisations are those that have commitment from CEO’s, Board of Directors and top management with an inclusive “seat at the table”. Leaders who have a strong diversity policy, show that their organisation value’s their employees and demonstrates that their workplace is inclusive.

‘A strong diversity and inclusion agenda helps with the merger of companies’

Claire Vyvyan, the senior vice president of Dell EMC’s commercial business in the UK and Ireland, talks with Information Age about the value diversity and inclusion can bring to an organisation. Read here

A key area where organisations typically fall behind is demonstrating visibility on their marketing, especially when they have a key focus on hiring more women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) related roles, this does hinder individuals from applying to organisations as there is no visibility for growth for individuals & from certain ethnic minority backgrounds. If you get the culture fit right then you will reap the rewards of true diversity.

Companies with more women on their boards were found to outperform their rivals with a 42% higher return in sales, 66% higher return on invested capital and 53% higher return on equity — Quoted from Women on Boards, DBIS, February 2011 — WES

STEM jobs are already a major driver of economic growth and not just for technology organisations but for various industries. We understand that the demand is high, but why is there a shortage of women progressing in STEM leadership roles?

At Hire STEM Women we have done a number of surveys with women who were in senior leadership positions in STEM fields and we found that there has been very little research done in the areas of what barriers mean for women in technical areas. Overall we found that women faced challenges when it came to salaries, according to New Scientist women working in science and engineering earn a fifth less than their male colleagues in the UK.

There are many ways to be an ally for women in STEM and to help them develop into true leaders in particular tech and engineering. For example, educate yourself on the number of challenges faced within the industry, speak to females and understand what they would like from their organisation to allow them to grow as leaders. One of the most common things I hear from industry colleagues is lack of support in meetings acknowledge a colleague who has genuinely shared a good idea (however do not just amplify the idea just because they are women, if you mean it do praise the idea if it is genuinely adding value) If you are a woman who feels interrupted or not acknowledged in meetings, try to get an ally who can help you bounce ideas across the room.

Diversity in technology: The playbook of best practice

What are the best practices for improving the levels of gender diversity within technology, or any company for that matter? Read here

Here’s a tip for my male peers, we understand that all this talk about gender diversity can make it a little daunting at times and you may have the concern of coming across as patronising when you simply want to support your female colleagues, to help this fear try to have a 50/50 mindset, at many firms we understand that whilst the numbers of male and female employees do not even out, but it’s important that both men, women and other gender diversity should be equally valued. One of the most effective ways we can support women and on their career paths within the IT industry is raising profile of female role models who are doing outstanding work in these important fields.

Executives have a responsibility to ensure that women who are making an impact are not going unnoticed or not supported, here at Hire STEM Women we are massive on supporting women from early talent stage up to executive level. It’s imperative we work together to ensure we make an impact in the STEM industry together with our diverse colleagues, our male peers and investors as well as our executive board partners.

Written by Tehreem Sheikh, co-founder and CEO of Hire STEM Women

Hire STEM Women is an established UK led graduate & professional recruitment platform promoting diversity across the STEM industry. To find out more reach out to hq@hirestemwomen.co.uk to discuss partnership opportunities.