I believe in diverse teams. I always did. For me diversity has many dimensions, but gender balance and inclusion sticks out to me here. We have too few women in the tech sector. The ratio was bad during my studies 20 years ago (around 5%). And allthough I watched it slightly increasing throughout my professional life it's still far from being balanced.
Since the problem is clear, the solution to attract more women into tech seems a lot harder to find. Honestly when I started to think about it I didn't have a clue where to start. About what I could do to help change the situation. So to get started I sat down with a colleague of our organisation and basically asked her: What can this company do to be more attractive to female devs? And as she seems a little surprised that I wanted to talk to her about this in the first place, some interesting points came to the table:
from here experience not everyone understands why diverse teams just do better.
more networking and alignment with other female devs within the organisation is desired to learn and to get inspired from each other.
she does not want to be treated any special, positively or negatively, even if she is the only female in an otherwise male team, and only be judged by her competence.
she would love to have the chance to work side by side with another female dev
We also talked about what could be improved to hire more women devs. Here are some of here ideas:
in jobs posts explicitly elaborate about professional development and option to attend conferences
also provide a clear profile description
specifically utilise female devs and their networks to spread job posts to their (female) buddies
sponsor more female bootcamps and show some presence there
So for me that was a very inspiring talk and helped me a lot to get into this topic and to change my perspective. I learned that we should encourage, connect and strengthen our tech women at SinnerSchrader and to clearly articulate to all teams why diversity matters. And we should include the female dev perspective even stronger in our hiring process - not only women will benefit from this.
On a personal note there is another woman that I want to encourage to at least have a deeper look into the tech world, and that is my 7-year old daughter. We started last year with some code.org-lessons and allthough she could not read at the time it caught her interest. I will certainly continue to spend time with her on this and similar programs.