Gender diversity benefits companies. Diversity promotes greater creativity, better decisions and profitability. Businesses with women on their executive team are more likely to have higher valuations at both first and last funding1, and according to research, companies with the highest representation of women in senior leadership have better financial performance. Indeed, Fortune 500 companies with women CEOs outperform the market and women-led technology companies deliver at 35% higher return on investment2.
However, the gender employment gap in the technology sector is well publicised and hard to ignore. According to The Women’s Engineering Society just 15% of those working in STEM are female. What’s more, in 2018 the number of female graduates in computer science was just 15%3. The lack of women in technology roles contributes to a vicious cycle where women are deterred from entering the industry due to lack of inspiration, role models and support.
Here at Altius we want to buck that trend and are putting initiatives in place to promote gender equality, actively attract and champion female talent, and strengthen female leadership. The programmes are designed to encourage and empower our female colleagues to achieve in various different ways.
We are currently developing a company wide training programme to promote awareness of unconscious bias. It will help our colleagues recognise assumptions and beliefs and adjust automatic patterns of thinking in order to ultimately eliminate potentially discriminatory behaviours.
Our training programme will include making sure our recruitment processes are balanced and help our leadership teams to develop the skills required to manage diverse teams. We also want to actively champion our female talent and provide skills training to support them in their career progression.
We recognise that women face a variety of challenges in the workplace and want to build a community where women can network and raise questions and concerns in a safe space. We see this as critical to increasing the number of women who work here, especially in senior positions. We will build and nurture this community through informal events where new initiatives can be discussed and questions asked in a safe environment.
We are also going to set up groups and distribution lists to provide an easy way for women to contact each other if they’re working in the same area of the business or on the same project or initiative. Our community will also be strengthened by assigning roles to help drive and promote our initiatives and encourage new joiners to become involved.
We recognise that women who are mentored and championed are more likely to grow into leadership roles. We have already initiated a mentorship programme to help our female colleagues to accelerate their career advancement through regular one-to-one support, designed to expand their network, skills and knowledge.
The first six month mentorship programme has already commenced. Our volunteer mentors have received their training and are looking forward to working with their mentees to empower them by sharing their professional expertise and providing tailored guidance.
We intend to host two Inspiring Leaders Panel Events throughout the year, with our first event scheduled to be held on the 25th March 2020. This is an opportunity for our internal teams, clients and guests to listen to a panel of inspiring women, ask questions and network together.
We are delighted that we have secured three incredibly inspiring women to attend the panel at our event in March, and look forward to welcoming:
- Leanne Lynch, IT Director at Heathrow Airport
- Josie West, Data Scientist PA Consulting Group and Founder of She Flies Extreme Sports
- Dr Adrienne Rivlin, Strategy Partner at KPMG and an active member of the Healthcare Business Women’s Association
For further information on our empowering women initiatives or to register your interest for one of our panel events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about careers at Altius, please visit our careers webpage.