While there have been strides to bridge gender gaps in technology, it’s no secret that the tech industry is male-dominated. Women only represented about 25 percent of the U.S. tech industry in 2015. However, women in technology can prove beneficial when they are included on the team, and development teams can leverage women to enhance their teams. Here are a few key considerations to take into account when women are part of the development team:
Enhanced Communication Skills
One of the key advantages of having women in technology is that they are great at communicating. In fact, a study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine explains this supports this theory citing that women have a higher percentage of a protein that facilitates more enhanced communication capability than men do. Women in technology roles often go beyond the technical details of the issue at hand and further explain the importance of the technology from both a frontline, IT perspective and business perspective.
Understanding why a specific technology is important to the business and the value it drives is crucial to help key stakeholders. This is especially true for development teams when difficult topics and tasks require simplification. With women on a development team, teams can better understand how to solve problems and gain all the necessary details to determine the next steps to take in the development process.
Adding women to a development team can also mean an expansion of innovative ideas. Women add a different perspective on how to solve problems and provide solutions to correct issues or present a new way to complete a project. When leaders include women on their development teams, they are enhancing diversity, facilitating innovation and expanding the opportunity to gain a fresh approach to solving issues.
Adding women to a development team can also mean producing better products for clients. That’s because when teams are diverse, they tend to deliver better service and, ultimately, better products. But to get to that point, tech companies must put effort to attract women to apply for tech roles. Atlassian sets an example by creating job postings that list essential skills to encourage women to apply as most women tend to skip over jobs they do not completely qualify for. As a result, the company experienced an 80 percent increase its female tech workforce.
Improved Performance, Productivity and Profits
Adding women to the development team also can improve overall performance. A Scientific American study indicated that presentations by one diverse group can influence a different set of people to work and think harder. By including women on a development team, they can provide differing viewpoints. Even if team members cannot agree, the challenge can encourage more productivity and enhanced performance.
Another important benefit to having women on a development team is that they help enhance the overall financial health of the company. Research indicates that women can help increase the financial performance of the company. For example, an ABI report revealed that some of the top 500 U.S.-based companies with the largest revenue in the United States that had a minimum of three female directors working for the company experienced a 42 percent increase in return on sales and a 53 percent increase in return on equity. These findings help to demonstrate the significance of a diverse workforce on bottom-line profits.
Diversifying development teams comes with a whole host of benefits, and women can help facilitate these advantages for enterprises and companies in the technology. From enhanced communication to better products, adding women to a development team can ultimately help improve the company’s bottom-line.