Three Strategies for IT Leaders to Advance Gender Equality in 2022

Three Strategies for IT Leaders to Advance Gender Equality in 2022-01

The recent years, especially 2020 and 2021, have been about make-or-break moments for women in the tech industry. Thus, the choices that IT leaders will make in 2022 and beyond will have profound implications for women, families, the economy and the future of the enterprise world itself.

Women have disproportionately been affected by uncertainty and the economy, and the tech world is no exception. While the tech industry at large has thrived in the shift to remote work, women have not been able to reap the benefits that it yields. For starters, they have taken on most of the household and childcare duties during the COVID-19. Unsurprisingly, as per a 2021 impact report from the women tech council, titled, “The Pandemic’s Impact on Women in Tech,” 47% of the women in the survey believed that the effects of COVID-19 have delayed their career progression due to home and family pressures.

The same report also found that women are twice as likely as men to lose their jobs or be furloughed due to the pandemic, while men, on the other hand, are three times more likely to have advanced in their careers. Also, what makes these setbacks for women in the tech world a great concern, is that the social and economic impacts of gender inequality in tech are so far-reaching that its effects can be felt across many areas of the lives of employees

Also Read: Four Questions CIOs should ask about Digital Transformation

With stakes this high, not taking any action is not an option. While there are many large, multi-year programs and investments that can promote gender diversity in tech organizations, there are also immediate actions that IT leaders can take. Here are steps that IT leaders can take in 2022 that will benefit women from the earliest stages of their career journeys to their progression in leadership roles.

  • Growing the pipeline 

CIOs should partner with local or national organizations that specialize in collaborating with firms to provide undergraduate women with computer science majors to add real-world tech projects to their portfolios. This can take various forms, such as sponsoring a traditional capstone project, over-indexing on with summer internships, or encouraging women to participate in innovative micro internship programs.

  • Not falling in the “woman-as-default-project-manager” trap

Many women take on project management responsibilities in an effort to show their management skills, commitment and ambition. But, unless they are also given the responsibility of managing the technical staff members in their team, more often than not, these women get pegged as project managers and lose out on opportunities available to them in senior tech management roles. Hence, IT leaders should be mindful of this pattern and avoid repeating it. While this can result in a short-term loss of a potentially great project manager, it will pay off in the long term as women advance in senior tech roles within the organization.

Also Read: CIOs Improve Vendor Management Strategies

  • Scheduling calls with up-and-coming women

With remote and hybrid work environments gaining traction, hallway opportunities to provide up-and-coming women a pat on their back or inspirational feedback are increasingly unlikely. Thus, as leaders committed to lifting women in tech groups, IT leaders should plan for these kinds of essential conversations. They should schedule skip-level calls where they can tell the women in the organization that show leadership traits how business and tech leaders in the firm see them as future leaders. It is conversations such as these that can help employees that are traditionally marginalized to find the confidence to imagine just how far they have soared.

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Vishal Muktewar is a Senior Correspondent at On Dot Media. He reports news that focuses on the latest trends and innovations happening in the B2B industry. An IT engineer by profession, Vishal has worked at Insights Success before joining Ondot. His love for stories has driven him to take up a career in enterprise journalism. He effectively uses his knowledge of technology and flair for writing, for crafting features, articles and interactions for technology enterprise media platforms.