“In the US, women hold only 20 percent of tech jobs. For startups, it’s even worse: only 17 percent of startup founders are women, who receive 2.2 percent of funding. Black women only receive 0.2 percent in funding,” according to Netta Jenkins, vice president of global inclusion for The Mosaic Group & Ask Applications. Despite forward-thinking programs like Black Girls Code and Black Women Talk Tech, the numbers highlight an imbalance that can only be addressed from within corporations.
“This is why it’s key that women expose each other to leadership roles, encourage associate level employees to present in front of leadership teams and focus on creating pathways for women to enter tech in more powerful and creative ways,” said Jenkins.
Here are some tips from Bold on what steps an organization’s leaders can take to build a stronger female tech talent pipeline.
1) Welcome Change
Accept that change is good and that innovation and progress are driven by change. Take on the challenge within your company to evaluate deficiencies in diversity and inclusion. After taking inventory, make a conscious choice to create policies that will empower women to create and innovate.
2) Be Your Sister’s Keeper
One of the biggest challenges for many women is garnering support from other women within the workplace. Don’t view your sister as your competition, make her your complement. Be inspired to nurture the next generation of female leaders by providing tools for success based on your firsthand experiences.
3) Use Your Voice
Speak up! It’s not enough to simply have a seat at the table. You must open your mouth while there so the underrepresented perspective is heard. Make your presence known as a leader and advocate when those who need a voice are not in the room.
Remember, the mountain in front of many women may just be a molehill. Be committed to turning adversity into opportunity by welcoming change, looking out for your sisters and using your voice to be the change you want to see in the world.
Editor’s Note: Bold is a media sponsor of the Roadmap to Billions Conference.