International Women’s Day is an annual reminder for the tech industry more must be done to promote diversity in the workplace and in leadership positions. While improvements are made each year, the basic statistics remain mostly the same:

Only 16% of CIOs are women
7% of VC partners are women
Less than 30% of women are in management positions
 4.7% of executive positions S&P 500 companies are filled by women of colour

Having greater representation can lead to greater profits, improved efficiency and better reputations, so it’s essential that your recruitment strategy takes this into account to achieve these outcomes. In this sequence of blogs we will look at why companies should embrace a more diverse and inclusive recruitment strategy, and steps to take to ensure this outcome.

So why should you embrace greater diversity in your workforce?

1. Diverse companies make more money

When deciding any company policy, especially at the strategic level, the bottom line for most businesses is, “how will this affect our bottom line?”. Fortunately the evidence here is clear-cut. A 2016 study across 91 countries and over 20,000 listed companies found that more female representation in decision making leads to greater profitability. Another study has shown that diverse executive boards get a stunning 95% higher return on equity than non-diverse ones.

There are a range of suggested reasons for this, including the face that a greater diversity of thought leads to better problem solving and desirable business outcomes. A great recruitment strategy will take into account that hiring, promoting and (crucially) keeping women and other minorities will positively affect their entire organisation, as well as improving the bottom line.

2. They operate more efficiently 

An educated workforce is essential to implementing innovations, overcoming challenges and driving efficiencies. Those three factors are usually pretty high on a CEO’s mind, so it’s great to learn that millennial women on average have much higher educational levels than men across the board.Additionally, women are much more likely to continue with self-improvement and continuous learning for longer into their career than men, so the impacts and returns last longer and go deeper over a candidates career.

In increasingly challenging environments with elevated churn and more companies competing for increasingly scarce talent, it is an easy win to hire educated and innovative people who will continue these habits into their career.

3. They look better

Ask a CEO about brand reputation and they will probably turn to their CMO for data on how customers view their brand. A study has found that having more women on boards of directors makes people view companies as more ethical, and there are host of anecdotal examples of tech companies leveraging this to enhance their marketability.

The big gains in terms of recruitment strategy though come from the external and internal reputation to workers, which is a massive component in the war for talent. When it comes to attracting rock-star developers for example, it usually takes more these days than a well-timed job spec and a competitive salary. Attracting high quality passive job applicants means having a high-quality reputation among today’s workforce, and diversity ranks high for millennials with 47% of them actively looking at diversity and inclusion.

Consider for example the roles of mentors for people early in their career. Given the paucity of women in leadership positions, it is frequently difficult to find appropriate mentors, yet women are viewed as significantly better suited for it than men. Any company which can offer this has an immediate competitive advantage both in terms of securing and retaining top talent.

In terms of internal reputation, women leaders are seen to be more trustworthy and collaborative than their male peers. When it comes to adopting unpopular decisions and directions, having women involved should lead to greater buy in and acceptance, guaranteeing a smooth transition.

Diversity really is a strength

If you want greater profitability and equity returns, then investing in new and existing female talent is a great route to success. Narrowing down to recruitment strategy goals, you’ll get better quality candidates who contribute more for longer with an open and inclusive workplace culture. For advice and help on how to improve your recruitment strategy, just send us an email or give us a call. It matters who you work it.