Not too long ago, women who worked in the technology industry or in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers would tell you that they were often the only female in the room.
Times are changing, though, and while more women are choosing to pursue STEM careers, they continue to face challenges as they pursue promotions in these high-growth fields.
The formal and sometimes hidden organizational practices and attitudes that exist in these industries tend to reinforce some of the roadblocks that limit women’s advancement. Compounding the problem are customers, such as an example cited in SHRM Connect, who requested "to have his account transferred to a male because he doesn't like working with women."
And so the debate continues as to why the struggle still exists.
In August, Google engineer James Damore fanned the flames of this debate when he posted a 10-page memo claiming that women may be unsuited for tech jobs.
Was he right?
Former technology consultant Megan McArdle thinks that The Google Memo About Women in Tech Wasn’t Wrong. Does she have a point?
Regardless of the varying opinions, many organizations are now working overtime to remove the barriers to advancement by developing and implementing talent acquisition strategies to attract more women and talent management programs to support their career growth.
The HR technology industry sits distinctly at the intersection of technology and human capital management and is now setting the standard for how other industries should support women in tech roles.
On October 10, the 2017 HR Technology Conference & Expo will offer its second annual “Women in Technology” preconference program, which will feature several tech executives sharing stories from their careers and offering advice.
Many of the challenges facing women in tech careers are attributed to the candidate funnel, inadequate professional development opportunities, hiring for “cultural fit” and other similar circumstances that lead organizations to simply reinforce existing imbalances. While not the only issues facing women, they are important, and often owned by HR.
Every organization has technical roles and departments—even if it is not specifically a technology company. What are you doing as an employer to attract and support women in technical careers?
Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT on October 11 for #Nextchat with six amazing women in HR: 2017 HR Technology Conference presenter Cecile Alper-Leroux @cecilehcm; and HR leaders from the HR Tech Insiders Blogger Team: Dawn Burke @DawnHBurke, Heather Bussing @HeatherBussing, Heather Kinzie @HeatherKinzie, Jennifer Payne @JennyJensHR and Robin Schooling @RobinSchooling.
We’ll chat about how HR can work inside and outside their organizations to attract, develop and support more women in technical careers.
Q1. What do you think about Google engineer James Damore’s memo blaming the biological differences between men and women for the gender inequality that exists in the tech industry?
Q2. Even as more women enter careers in technology, they continue to face challenges advancing to senior levels and the C-suite. What thwarts their advancement, and what barriers need to be removed?
Q3. What unique challenges do women face—or have you personally faced—in traditionally male-dominated fields such as technology (accounting, law enforcement or sports media)?
Q4. HR has a huge role in neutralizing bias through talent acquisition and management processes. What are the opportunities—what is your organization doing?
Q5. How and where can women in technology—and all industries—create and cultivate strong industry networks? What are some resources?
Q6. As a woman who has worked in technology or in a STEM-related industry or role, what are some important career lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Q7. What advice do you have for women who would like to pursue a career in technology?
IF YOU MISSED THIS #NEXTCHAT YOU CAN READ THE RECAP HERE.